How to Write a Perfect COVER LETTER in Six Steps (with Example)


Now if I told you there is something you can do to increase your chances of

getting that dream job by about 90% you would pay attention wouldn't you,

wouldn't you? well there is now your CV is your CV I hope it looks

good and when you get to the interview I'm sure you'll make a good impression

but let me tell you it's that cover letter which is crucially important.

Unless you have a good cover letter few recruiters are even going to open your

CV which means you won't get the chance at the interview. So in today's

lesson we are going to show you how to write a great cover letter that will

engage the reader and help you land the job you want so stay tuned.

hello and welcome to LetThemTalk and today we're going to look at how to write an

amazing cover letter or covering letter as it's sometimes called and if English

is not your first language we have some tips about this too. Now the cover letter

is crucially important on so many levels a CV orsumé is about facts your

experience your educational background yes you can make it look good and you

can make it sound impressive but you can't lie about your experience or your

qualifications. It is to some extent fixed. On the other hands the covering

letter is the first interaction you will have with a recruiter and as you know

first impressions count so it's important, it's vitally important, to get

it right and furthermore the cover letter,

unlike the CV, is the chance to get your personality across. The objective of the

cover letter is to make the reader, the hiring person, curious enough to read

your CV recruiters and Human Resource staff are busy people and if they are

receiving hundreds of applications a day they won't have time to read each one in

great detail most of them will first look at your covering letter and read that

for about thirty seconds and if they're impressed they will move on to your CV

if not I'm afraid, it ends up in the bin. Now let me tell you that 90% of

cover letters are either average, bad or very bad so just making a small change

can increase your chances of getting to the interview by a significant amount.

First of all I'm going to give you some general points including things you

should and shouldn't do and then I'm going to take you step-by-step

about what you need to do with an example of a cover letter. So first

of all, keep it brief; a couple of paragraphs maybe a third or half a page

that's about the right length. So often I've seen cover letters that are

page and a half two pages long firstly it shows that the person is unable to

get their message across in a concise way - all the information about your

background your qualifications your experience it's in your CV so you don't

need to talk about that in great detail. Don't tell them your long personal

story it's not interesting and it's not what they want know such as a lack of

respect for the recruiter's time. sometimes you see cover letters that are

too short, "I would like to apply for the position of accounts assistant please

find my CV attached" this says nothing this also will end up in the bin.

so make it personal do not use the same cover letter for each job you apply.

worse than that I've seen, believe it or not, I've seen the email sent to multiple

recipients now that shows that you can't even bother to write a separate cover

letter for each job now do you think you really want to work with a person like

that. Every letter should be personalized do some research on the company yes I

know it takes time but it's time well spent.

Read the website read articles about the company that you find online or in the

media when you are writing it, imagine that the person you are writing to is

sitting opposite you and imagine you are having a conversation with them and as

of any conversation don't just start talking about the achievements

great you are and what you want it's going to bore a person if you are

speaking to them and it's going to bore them in writing too. "I really want to

work for a big organization and I think your company I could get some

useful experience develop my career and maybe in a few years I could do a

master's and if you could finance that it would be great actually to be honest

I don't really like London but my girlfriend has just moved here and I'm

following her you see..." Now do your best to get the name of the person who is

recruiting. You can use Google you can use LinkedIn you can use social media

you can call up the company if you can't get the name don't write "to whom it may

concern" that sounds cold you could write "Dear sir or madam", "Dear hiring manager" of

course it's much, much better to write a name but if you don't get a name don't

panic you can personalize the body of the letter. So in the letter there should

always be something that's going to give the impression that you took the time

and effort to write to them. Now believe me if you do this even if you don't get

to the interview stage you will almost certainly get a reply. In fact I would go

so far as to say that you should make it your goal to get a reply rather than an

interview make that your challenge ok. So how do you personalize it? Well for

example "I recently read online that XYZ are shortly going to open a subsidiary in

Madrid it seems like your company is going from strength to strength that's

great news. By the way, in addition to my other skills, I do speak Spanish and I

would love to play a part in your expansion whether it be at home or

abroad I'm your man". or, if you're going to go for a local government job "I've

just downloaded your app and I used it to find a parking space in the city and

it was great though I do believe that if I had the opportunity to work on it I

could make it even better". So your mantra should be it's not about you it's about

them. Don't write about yourself and what you

want tell them what you can do for them don't say "I've got 3 years experience in

business studies and I'm looking for a company where I can progress my career"

do say "I've got a degree in Business Studies which provided me a great

academic background and with these skills, along with my passion I'm sure I

would be a great asset to your team". So even if you don't have any significant

work experience the cover letter gives you the chance to get them excited. ok now a

few more points I would recommend. Put the cover letter in the body of the

email. If you put it as a separate attachment it just adds extra

unnecessary steps. What I see sometimes is a cover letter

in a cover letter. "I'm writing to apply for this job blah blah blah please find

my cover letter and my CV attached" Do you really need a cover letter for a

cover letter? No as soon as the recruiter opens the email it should be

bang there it is. Don't give them unnecessary obstacles in front of

reading your application. Check the spelling and grammar now i've already

made two videos about how to approach an interview links in the description up

there somewhere. Now in those videos I said that if English is not your first

language that's okay. The interviewer is not a grammar teacher they won't notice

any small grammar mistakes okay and while this is true for an interview I'm

afraid for a cover letter it's not the cover letter should be checked for

spelling and grammar if you're a native speaker or a non-native speaker I do

recommend that you get the letter proof read by another person. Even if your

cover letter is wonderful if you can't be bothered to check the spelling and

the grammar if it has spelling mistakes that looks bad. That looks really bad and

it'll end up in the bin. now a word about grammar and style write the cover letter

in a formal but friendly style if it's too formal you will sound distant and

cold if it's too friendly well that's not good either. In order to get the

balance right try, first of all, to use active sentences rather than passive

sentences. So for example, instead of saying "I was employed as a technical

assistant for two years" say "I worked as a technical assistant for two years."

instead of saying "Your company has been recommended to me by Don Redburn" say "Don

Redburn recommended your company to me" Do not use the word

VERT ok just strike it out of your cover letter and use another

word so for example do not say "I'd be very happy to meet you"

do say "I'd love to meet you" and don't be too friendly never, never

use emoji. Yes I have seen that. Do not use Comic Sans or wingdings or a cursive

font. You can use the first name if you know the hiring manager through a

contact so for example. "Hi Lucy, Robin Cooper recommended I get in touch with

you". Now if you don't have a personal connection to them then use Mr or

MS + surname. MS is good to use if you don't know the marital status of a woman and it's

very polite so use that MS. so now we've looked a lot at what you

shouldn't do but let's look at what you should include and get an example so

here we are. Number 1 state the job you are applying for. Number 2 tell them

who you are and a few words and sentences about your work experience

and/or your educational background. Number 3 give a few adjectives to

describe yourself. number 4 make a personalized

statement. Number 5 tell them what you can do

for them. Number 6 a call for action. ok and it doesn't necessarily

have to be in that order but those are the things that you should mention. So

here's an example I've chosen a job in marketing. To be honest I don't know very

much about marketing but it's just an example and you can adapt it to the

field of the job that you are looking for. "Dear Ms Talbot, I'm writing to apply

for the position of marketing strategy manager at Biggles limited posted in

marketing today" always say the job you are applying for and where you heard

about it and if it's an unsolicited letter you could just say that you're

applying for a vacancy in the marketing department

"I'm a graduate with two years' experience in the field of marketing. My university

degree in Business Studies gave me an excellent combination of skills in sales

budgeting, branding, pricing, product life-cycle and much more. Since I

graduated I've gained considerable practical know-how at a leading software

house where I have been working with large and small companies helping them

to plan out and implement media campaigns and gain footholds in new

markets. Throughout my career I've been reaching goals and exceeding

expectations. Do have a glance at my CV to find out more." So here I introduce

myself and I gave them a taste of my skills and experience and hopefully they

will be curious enough to read my CV. "You'll find me an enthusiastic, friendly

and reliable person. I'm hard-working and I have a certain creative flair which I

hope I can put to good use at Biggles" there you are, a few adjectives to

describe myself. "Of all the companies in the field Biggles is certainly the one

that interests me most, simply because it matches my own style and outlook. Your

recent campaign for community pharmacies was so original and humorous. I know not

everyone got the joke but for me it was outstanding and, by all reports, extremely

effective it was this as well as the strength of some of your other campaigns

that roused me to write to you today". So here's something about the company that

shows that you've taken an interest. "I would love to bring my skills knowledge

and passion to your organization I can make a

positive contribution to the future of Biggles give me the chance and I will

help develop new marketing strategies for your clients and increase your

business." So that's what I can bring to the company "In short I'm a great

candidate for this position so please get in touch with me by telephone or by

email and I'd be happy to attend an interview at your convenience" that's

a a call to action "I know recruiting can be a long and

stressful procedure so I'd like to thank you for taking the time to consider my

application". Finally a polite sign-off and if you take the time to show that

you appreciate the recruiters efforts that sounds nice. "Yours sincerely" and

your name if you've addressed them by name and that's what we've done here

"Dear Ms Talbot" then you should use "yours sincerely" if you've written "Dear sir or

madam" and you don't use a name then sign off with "Yours faithfully". That's the

traditional way anyway. OK I hope you found that useful now go out write a

good cover letter. Good luck with your job search and let us know in the

comments how you got on. So I went to Bonzai College where I've got a

first-class honours degree in animal and fish husbandry I did a specialization in

halibut migration patterns and for the last two years I've been working in the

marketing department of a tinned banana processing plant in Southampton and I

want to get some more...