How to Write a Cover Letter: Definitive Guide for 2019

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Write a Cover Letter

Why you need to write a cover letter? Isn't CV enough?

A well-written cover letter gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer in a narrative format, and explain why you are the ideal candidate. That's why you definitely should write one.

You will make it clear that you are highly interested in the job, and that you want the job enough to take the time to write a cover letter.

Long letters carry a considerable risk of getting just a glance, but no hiring manager minds reading a brief half-page story – especially when the same candidate has written the targeted CV well.

A cover letter is your opportunity to explain how you solve problems. It helps to show your personality and reinforce your professional image. Finally, a cover letter advertises your strengths and convinces an employer that you can be of benefit to the company.

Every CV should have a convincing companion. That's your cover letter - a story behind your CV's key points.

If you don't feel like reading, save your time and use our targeted CV and cover letter builder for free. It has all the best cover letter writing practices built in.

On this guide:

  1. Targeted Cover Letter
  2. Heading
  3. Opening Paragraph
  4. Body Paragraph
  5. Call-to-action Paragraph
  6. Closing

Chapter 1: How to Write a Targeted Cover Letter for a Particular Job Position?

A good cover letter should be short, but if you apply for many different job positions, writing a unique cover letter for each one will overwhelm you. This might tempt you to write a single generic letter, change only the company name, and send it out for every job opening that matches your profession.

However, if you do that, your CV and cover letter will very likely get deleted by an ATS or the recruiter as it will seem irrelevant much like spam.

Each corporate job opening on average attracts 250 CVs, and of these candidates, only four to six are called for an interview. So, 98% of CVs and cover letters get rejected as irrelevant.

Never use the same cover letter for different job applications.

Instead of sending generic CVs and cover letters for every single company, concentrate on the ones that appeal to you the most.

Find five good companies. Target your CV at each one, and then customize your cover letter to accompany each CV. The next day, find five more companies. Don't send broad CVs and template cover letters to random companies. Your goal is to get a job that you really like.

Answer Preparation Questions

Before sitting down to write your cover letter, research the company that you are targeting. Check out the job you're applying for. Spend some time reading over the company's website, especially the latest news. You should like the company, and it should meet your expectations.

As you research each of the top companies you've chosen, ask yourself:

  • What can you tell about the job?
  • What are you good at and what benefits can you offer to the company?
  • How does your personal goal fit in with the position or company?
  • What excites you about the company?

Don't start writing your letter until you've answered these key questions.

A cover letter briefly explains only two key points: your strengths and how they can benefit the company.

Follow these key points. Building on the information in your targeted CV, be as specific as you can about your achievements and skills and how they match the company's needs.

Six Main Rules for Writing a Powerful Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is not that hard if you follow a few simple rules:

  • Keep your letter short and to the point. Don't write more than one page and more than four paragraphs.

  • Your cover letter should be about only two things – your strengths and how they can benefit the company.

  • Write a cover letter following your CV's key statements. A CV with a cover letter creates the highest impact when they complement each other.

  • Write one CV and cover letter for every unique job position that will ensure your CV matches the type of candidate that the company desires as closely as possible.

  • Your cover letter should include only the company's contact information, your personal contact information, letter greeting, opening paragraph, body paragraph, call-to-action paragraph, and the letter closing.

  • Use a few numbers. In the job market, numbers often speak louder than words. Offer some statistics to illustrate your impact – just as you have done in your targeted CV. Numbers will show you understand what company is looking for in an employee, and that is results.

Here's a few examples of cover letters, built with Wozber cover letter builder:

Digital marketing project manager cover letter example

Chapter 2: How to Write a Heading?

Use the business letter format with the typical heading: your name, address, the recruiter’s contact details and your contact details. This is important in case your cover letter and targeted CV get separated from each other in a huge stack on the recruiter's desk.

Also, address your letter to an individual. Include the hiring manager's name with "Mr." or "Ms." Avoid the bland "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom It May Concern." Nothing could be more generic. Be as specific as possible! Use the company's website or LinkedIn profile to find the name of the head of the department for the position you're applying for or the name of the hiring manager.

Chapter 3: How to Write an Opening Paragraph?

The first paragraph should only be your introduction. Give a brief idea of who you are and tell the employer how you have learned about the opportunity. Mention how your career goals align with the company's goals.

  • Who are you?
  • Where does your expertise lie?
  • How did you learn about the position?
  • And why do you want to apply?

Targeted Cover Letter Opening Paragraph Examples

  • I've found XYZ as a great and influential company, so I would like to use a chance to present myself to be a part of your design team.

  • I am writing to express my strongest interest in the Business Analyst position that is vacant at XYZ. I've been working as an office and business manager for the past five years, gaining the experience I believe you are looking for.

  • I am very interested in the Project Manager position that is available at XYZ. Given the job requirements you have provided in the job description, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

  • As an administrative professional, I was excited to read about the job opening at XYZ. Given the job requirements you have provided in the job description, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

  • I am a sales professional who called you yesterday asking about this open job position. I believe XYZ is an amazing company, so I would like to use an opportunity to present myself in hopes that I will join your sales team.

  • I'm a recent Yale College graduate with a marketing degree. While I don't have any proper work experience, my courses in advertising, management, finance, and business have given me a solid knowledge base. Although I could have gained initial working experience anywhere, I want to start my career in a field that I am truly passionate about – digital business marketing and management. That's why I am so happy I came upon a job listing at XYZ.

  • I am thrilled to be applying for the Sales Manager role at your company. After reviewing your job description, I believe I am the perfect candidate for the job.

  • Because of my several years of administrative experience in e-commerce and advertising industries, I would like to be considered for Administrative Assistant job position open at XYZ.

  • My proven track of record of performing online advertising successfully makes me the ideal candidate for the Digital Marketer position at your company.

  • As a business analyst professional, I've found your recent job position to be a great opportunity. I've been working as an office and business manager for the past five years. I am very interested in working for XYZ because your creative work has shown a great level of internal management and offers big potential for growth.

  • I am a professional sales representative and I am very interested in the marketing position that is available at XYZ. While I don't have office experience, I am aware of sales and communication techniques which are vital for a marketing manager. I would like to present myself as a passionate professional who is seeking a career change.

Chapter 4: How to Write a Body Paragraph?

The second paragraph is about the benefits you bring to the table. Why should they choose you? How can you help the company?

You should tell the recruiter why he/she should be interested in you. Highlight a few valuable points from your CV that match the job description. Offer a few stats to illustrate your impact in previous positions.

Why are YOU suitable for the job? What is it about your previous job experience, skills, and abilities that meet the company's needs?

Use the information you have gathered in your research. Emphasize how you can help push the company forward to achieve THEIR goals.

Outline your career goal as it relates to the position you're applying for. Target your skills and experience at skills and experience required for the job.

Targeted Cover Letter Body Paragraph Examples

  • For the past four years, I've worked on various design projects including websites, outdoor and print advertisements, brand logos, and book illustrations. Using mostly Adobe Creative Suite together with a great team, we have implemented successful design solutions for more than 70 websites, including brands such as Max Tire, East-West Airlines, and Rockstar Mag. I have an end-to-end understanding of project development from concept to solution, and from pitch to discussed implementation. XYZ company boasts famous work such as Dove Milk Bird and ABC Color Balls, and they would be the perfect place for me to work.

  • I am a business analyst professional with strong analytical skills who have integrated modern digital tools that led to 20% more efficient workflow, data tracking, and sharing. I am well-versed in SWOT methodologies, case, data and business process modeling and I am capable of continuously exceeding monthly goals. The annual turnover growth of XYZ is 3.2%, but I am confident you can double it in 10 months. I am willing to start working on it from the first day in the office.

  • I have worked in digital marketing and business advertising for over three years. I love this job because it's incredibly dynamic and challenges my creativity every day. Together with the team from Prospect, I spearheaded modern and innovative solutions for more than 45 clients, managing projects with the budget exceeding $40,000 and delivering creative projects such as the Small People and Missing Animals viral ads, both receiving over 50 million impressions. XYZ with its famous campaigns like those for X and Y, would be the perfect place for me to utilize my work experience and qualifications.

  • For the past four years, I've been working as an office assistant and developed high-level administrative skills while sticking to a tight schedule. My diligent role included daily tasks such as writing multiple reports and various business forms for 20 office team members, while answering 100+ calls and emails, scheduling internal meetings and managing the directors' calendars. I believe that my professional skills combined with my successful administrative experience would make me a strong addition to the XYZ team.

  • I've worked with sales for the last three years, and during that time I was able to increase unit sales goals by 260%, continuously complete monthly goals of 100 meetings and sell products with an average price point of $18,000 every day. I also implemented retargeting sales campaigns using Facebook Pixel and other data tracking technologies, and created 20+ email templates that were applied as a company standard. I know how to ask the right questions and listen at the right time. I communicate well and am an analytical and creative sales professional who can bring the required qualifications and energy to XYZ. I am willing to exceed the sales quota starting from the first day.

  • While studying at university, I participated in a collaborative web-based marketing project for a global business, Hellet Inc., during which we completed four complex web analyses, created digital AdWords and Facebook campaigns, and suggested recommendations that the company happily implemented. We used a similar advertising model to the New Mood and Frenzy digital campaigns. As a member of the business school student board, I also organized various events and created display advertisements for the events' partners which were later implemented as a standard by all the other university student boards. I believe that my creativity and proactive passion for marketing are what XYZ is searching for.

Chapter 5: How to Write a Call-to-action Paragraph?

The last paragraph should bring the cover letter to a proper conclusion. It should also STRESS ACTION. Finish strong and quickly. Remind the recruiter what you introduced in the first and second paragraph (how your experience or skills will help the company).

That's the point of a cover letter: a call to action. Inform the recruiter that you'd love to get interviewed too. But be careful – if the last paragraph is too long, you're just rambling and weakening your call to action.

Targeted Cover Letter Call-to-action Paragraph Examples

  • I would like to meet in person to share more of my knowledge, learn more about your graphic design needs and discuss ways I can help to attain them. Please feel free to call or email me. I look forward to this opportunity.

  • I would welcome the chance to discuss your business management objectives and ways I can help to attain them. I look forward to this opportunity.

  • Boasting a solid knowledge base and an eagerness to continue learning, I can be a helpful professional for your team. I would welcome an opportunity for a personal interview to discuss your company's needs and the results you can expect from me in addressing those needs.

  • If you agree that my administrative skills, acquired knowledge and passion would make me a strong addition to your team, please call or email me to set up a meeting. I look forward to beginning my career at XYZ.

  • I would like to meet in person to learn more about your sales needs and share more of my knowledge. I look forward to this opportunity. Please feel free to call or email me.

  • I look forward to beginning my career at XYZ. If you agree that my digital marketing education and passion would make me a strong addition to your team, please call or email me to set up a meeting.

  • I am confident that I can offer the energy and required digital marketing skills you are seeking. I would welcome an opportunity for a personal interview to discuss your company's daily digital marketing objectives and challenges.

  • Please feel free to call or email me. I am confident that my energy combined with successful digital marketing experience will enable me to solve daily XYZ business challenges and create great additional value.

  • My CV is included for your review. I am confident that if you hire me as your Digital Marketing Manager, you will get the skills and energy you are seeking. Please feel free to call or email me.

  • I believe this is a position where my digital marketing skills and my passion for this industry will benefit XYZ by solving daily marketing challenges.

  • I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my digital marketing qualifications will be beneficial to your organization's success. Please feel free to call or email me.

Chapter 5: How to Close a Cover Letter?

"Respectfully", "Sincerely", "Regards", "Best wishes", "Looking forward"… All of these closing words are good, but nothing is better than a simple "Thank you".

It is the most delicate closing phrase for all types of letters and emails because it expresses genuine gratitude. It's happy and sincere. "Thank you" is the perfect ending for every letter.

More examples: "Thank you", "Thank you for your consideration", "Thank you for your time".

The Bottom Line: Convince that You're a Perfect Candidate

The cover letter is your opportunity to tell a story behind your CV key points, and convince your future employer that you perfectly match what they are looking for.

Your letter should be no longer than four paragraphs and be mainly structured from:

  • Your brief personal introduction.
  • Highlight of your CV key points that match the job description, describing how your previous experience and skills will allow you to meet the company's needs. It should complement, not repeat your CV's content.
  • A call-to-action – a polite way of asking to invite you to a job interview.

A targeted CV and cover letter are everything you need to land a job interview. Send them out, and once you get a call, start preparing for job interview questions.

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