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Importance of cover letter and tips to write a riveting one

SECTIONS Importance of cover letter and tips to write a riveting one By Riya Tandon


Synopsis


ET Careers GenNext | How to write an impactful cover letter


Submitting a cover letter with your resume may sometimes be optional but doing it can give you a competitive edge over others. A cover letter is a detailed extension of your resume that allows you to explain how your skills and abilities make you the right fit for a specific role. By summarising your qualifications, skills and interests, and, most importantly, by citing the reason why a company should hire you, you can leave a great first impression. In addition, through a well-written cover letter, you can convince a hiring manager that you are serious and passionate about the opportunity in front of you — this can increase your chances of getting hired.


Here are a few reasons why a cover letter is important for landing your dream job:


  • You get to infuse a personal touch into the otherwise factual pieces of information. For instance, you can talk in detail about what truly inspired you to become, say, a content writer, designer or social media marketer

  • By talking about the company, its values, and how it can help you advance in your career, you get to connect with the employer and lay a strong foundation for a professional relationship

  • If you are switching fields or roles, you can use your cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and demonstrate how they can be beneficial for the role you are applying for

  • By making a few references to the company’s history, culture and achievements, you can convey that you have made an effort to do a thorough research about the company and are well aware of what you are signing up for.


How to write an impactful cover letter?

Getting the tone, length, format and other such small details correct in a cover letter can be a bit challenging. If you are a fresher entering into the employment sector, it might take you several hours to draft a perfect cover letter.


Here we have a few tips to follow while writing an effective letter:


1) Understand and use the job description – The first and foremost step for writing a powerful cover letter is reading the job description to understand the skills, qualifications and experience-based requirements for the role you are interested in. Then, figure out how to tailor those specifications in your favour to present yourself as the most suitable candidate for the job. This will also give you the needed clarity on how to elaborate on the skills that you do not possess but are ready to acquire to improve your efficiency at work.


2) Do an in-depth research – Before getting into the process of writing, you must research about the company, its history, vision, mission, achievements and its future plans. To gather this information, you can visit the company’s official website, LinkedIn page and social media handles. After collecting the needful information, you must make a few references of the same in your cover letter.


Also, this extensive research will allow you to answer the two essential questions in your cover letter – Why should the company hire you and why do you want to join this company?


3) Don’t copy-paste, customise your letter – To be able to stand out as a candidate, it’s necessary to incorporate a personal touch in your cover letter. For this, you can address the cover letter directly to the hiring manager, such as “Dear Mr Oberoi”. In case you don’t know their name, check out the company’s website and scan through pages like “about us” and “meet the team”. If you already know someone in the company, you can also ask them for information. This will convince the employer that you decided to go the extra mile to personalise your letter. Next, communicate how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate for the position.

Remember, you must draft a new version of your cover letter each time you apply for a job vacancy.


4) Keep it concise and free of grammatical errors and typos – Experts suggest keeping your cover letter short, concise and clear. It should not be more than a page, with a word count not exceeding 400-450. In addition, pay an equal amount of attention to the format of your letter. Preferably, it should be written in Times New Roman with font size 11 or 12. Besides, try to use bullet points, percentages, and numbers wherever possible instead of lengthy paragraphs to make it easy to read


Once you are done writing your cover letter, read it twice or thrice to look for grammatical errors and typos. You can also ask your friends and family to review it so that there is no scope left for errors. Keep in mind, even a small spelling mistake or grammatical error can lead to the rejection of your application.


5) Make sure it is ATS-friendly – These days, it’s likely for your resume and cover letter to pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS). And since these systems search for specific keywords to approve your documents, it’s imperative to include them in your cover letter. Therefore, try to integrate the keywords mentioned in the job description, precisely in the skills, experience, and qualification section, in your cover letter to make it ATS-friendly.


6) Close it with a call to action – End your letter by expressing your eagerness to join the organisation and suggest they contact you for an interview or further discussion. Also, display a sense of gratitude by ending the letter with “Sincerely”, “Best Regards”, or “Thanks and Regards”. Moreover, do not forget to add your contact details like phone number and email while closing your letter.


Hiring managers receive hundreds of applications. Out of these, only a few get selected for the next step of the hiring process. So, a well-articulated cover letter adds weight to the application. Use your cover letter as an opportunity to let your skills, qualifications and experience portray you as the most eligible candidate for a job opening. And, of course, create a captivating narrative while drafting your cover letter.




https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/fresher/importance-of-cover-letter-and-tips-to-write-a-riveting-one/articleshow/100757971.cms





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