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Cover letters are written as a humanized form of a candidate’s resume for recruiters. They help employers better assess an applicant’s preparedness for the role as opposed to a cold, hard document. In this article, we’ll understand what a cover letter is, find out how to write a good cover letter, and learn from some cover letter examples.
Whether you are a fresher who’s just graduated or an associate who has been actively job-hunting, you already know the pain of landing a long-wished job. For some, it can stretch to years of “job-board scavenging” while others can spend hours on social media platforms, just to find that perfect fit.
What most applicants fail to realize is that ensuring a keyword-friendly resume for Application Tracking Systems (ATS) is only half the battle. A well-written cover letter attached to your job application can get you the rest of the way.
So what makes an impressive cover letter? Let’s start from scratch.
A cover letter is a document that you attach with your resume to better highlight your skills, experience, and knowledge related to a given job position. Additionally, it highlights your leadership skills and achievements, which boosts your chances of getting selected.
A cover letter has three parts:
Let’s be practical here: not every job position requires you to send in a cover letter. Mostly, candidates attach a cover letter to their profile only when it’s required by the company or when they’re applying for their dream job. But why go through this additional hassle?
But if you’re already attaching a resume, what is the purpose of a cover letter? Let’s take a look.
A cover letter expands and explains the information in your resume, creating a story of your professional life for the recruiter. It gives you a chance to stand out from a crowd of applicants who might as well have job experience and achievements equivalent to yours.
Additionally, a cover letter:
For job applications that require a cover letter, you must ensure that yours is well-written, well-formatted, and impactful. For job applications that don’t require a cover letter, we still recommend sending one if you want a fighting chance.
Time to learn how to write a cover letter!
Often, the success of your job application depends on your cover letter. A thoroughly researched cover letter shows your sincerity and diligence, but more importantly, showcases your suitability for the role.
Here are some tips to help you write a remarkable cover letter.
The recruiters know your past job roles and contributions through your resume or CV. So, the additional application letter is your space to sell them the future. This includes both, your own plans for professional growth and the company’s future goals.
Obviously, this means that you have to put in some serious research into the company you’re applying for. Find out their journey so far and their growth trajectory for the coming years. Then it’s only a matter of narrowing down those goals to your team and job position!
The most important thing hiring managers look for in a candidate is how well their future plans align with the company’s goals. If you manage to do this, half the battle is won!
On average, 118 candidates apply for a particular job vacancy. Unless your cover letter starts strong, you’ll find it very hard to beat the other 117! Let’s see how to write a cover letter with a strong introduction with the help of an example:
“I’ m applying for the role of a copywriter that I saw had a vacancy at Spice Media.”
“With more than a decade of experience in the advertising industry, I’m a copywriter on a mission to express multitudes in the matter of a few words.”
This cover letter example reveals your superpower. Find out your strengths as an applicant and figure out a way to use them in the very beginning. But remember, an eye-catching opening sentence must be backed up with enough substance!
But if you’re someone who has the substance but struggles with putting it into words, we have a solution for you! There are power words that you can use to appropriately express your achievements and abilities. You can use them in the opening paragraph and sprinkle them throughout the letter to impact the recruiters positively.
Here’s a list of power words you can use in your cover letter:
The entire point of writing a cover letter is to show why you’re an ideal candidate for not just the position, but for the company. This is what you’ll do in the body paragraphs of your cover letter. Dig deep into your skillset and show your past experiences and proven abilities have prepared you to take on this new role.
Make sure to also connect your own abilities with large-scale, industry-wide happenings in your niche. For instance, the healthcare infrastructure took a severe blow during the pandemic. If you are someone who is associated with the industry, your cover letter needs to address the recent years in some capacity.
“My name is Alex and I have been a healthcare professional for the last 15 years.”
Instead, observe this cover letter example:
“My name is Alex and I’ve been active in the healthcare industry for 15 eventful years. Recently, I have been helping firms restore their systems and processes to adapt to the pandemic and its lasting effects.”
You can also use the body paragraphs to explain any gaps in your resume or address any specific requirements or qualifications listed in the job posting.
It’s essential that your cover letter reflects your excitement about joining the company. The first few paragraphs should clearly outline everything you like and admire about the company or the team you seek to join.
Make sure you mention specific projects, policies, and initiatives that make you want to join the organization. Along with this, you should also maintain a positive tone throughout the letter to drive home the point.
Aim for a professional and confident tone in your cover letter. While it’s important to show your enthusiasm for the position, a cover letter is still a formal document! Use language that is friendly, respectful, and courteous, but not overly casual. No slang!
You should also ensure that you don’t pull a 180 and use overly formal or stiff language. The key is to avoid unprofessionalism while also not sounding impersonal and distant. Your emerging voice in the letter should be warm and engaging, while still maintaining a level of professionalism.
By striking the right balance of tone in your cover letter, you can show the hiring manager that you are a qualified and personable candidate.
We live in the age of social media where a person’s attention span hovers a little over 8 seconds. So, it’s best that you keep the cover letter short and format it according to the standard guidelines.
Here are some formatting tips for a cover letter:
A job application is the last place for language and formatting errors. If you don’t want silly typos to take away from your sincerity and dedication, you must edit and proofread your cover letter thoroughly.
If the position you’re applying for is highly important, it makes sense to hire a cover letter editing service. But if it’s just another opportunity, you can probably do some rounds of editing yourself and have friends and colleagues do some reviews for you.
Here’s a cover letter editing checklist to make things easier for you:
Make sure to approach your cover letter with a fresh eye and do several rounds of edits. Also ensure that there aren’t any additional mistakes once you’re done revising the cover letter according to your colleagues’ advice! Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Want a quick guide so you don’t forget these tips? We’ve got you covered.
Here’s a sample cover letter in the healthcare industry for the position of Medical Assistant. If you’d like some more cover letter examples from us, be sure to let us know in the comments!
February 23, 2023
1234 Lee Avenue
STE 107, Oklahoma City
Dear Mr. Bernard,
I am writing to express my keen interest in the Medical Assistant position currently available at Adonis Hospital. As a highly organized and detail-oriented individual with a passion for healthcare, I believe I would make a valuable addition to your team.
In my previous role as a Medical Assistant at Care Clinic, I gained extensive experience in providing exceptional patient care, managing patient records, and assisting physicians with a variety of procedures. I am confident that my skills and experience make me an ideal candidate for the position at Adonis Hospital.
The recent years put both my skillset and personal courage to the test, and I have emerged from them with a new viewpoint on the value of healthcare. Leapfrog recognized my work with the Pandemic Heroes Award, a badge I wear with pride but also with the recognition of the effort put in by all healthcare professionals.
I am particularly drawn to ABC Clinic’s reputation for providing high-quality healthcare services to a diverse patient population. I believe that my commitment to patient care and my ability to work collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare professionals make me an ideal candidate for this position.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview!
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