What is a cover letter?
A cover letter for a job is used to introduce yourself as a person and as a professional. It should embody the desire to work in the company to whom it is directed, the knowledge the candidate has about the company, as well as a presentation narrated by the applicant, which highlights their strengths, dreams and ambitions, and the type of work they excel at. The cover letter is the ideal complement to the CV and it should encourage the reader to look at it.
Cover letter models
The cover letter varies according to the objective sought. Let’s look at various cover letter examples:
- To start working: when there is no work experience to put on the CV, the cover letter represents everything. It has to demonstrate the efforts made in the candidate’s education, their professional aspirations, their personal skills and any hobbies they might have or voluntary work undertaken.
- For a published job offer: in this case the company is looking for someone and expects to receive CVs. The cover letter must demonstrate that the candidate has researched the company well and should reinforce their strengths which match what the company is looking for.
- To introduce yourself to a company in which you would like to work: once the appropriate contact person has been identified, sending a letter of this type shows a proactive attitude which could be in the company’s interest. The opportunity should be taken to capture the company’s attention with firmness, honesty and creativity. “Talent” is the key word that all companies are looking for, so you have to try to demonstrate it in this letter.
- To write to a recruitment firm: in this case it is a good idea to demonstrate what you are good at through testimonials from former employers, specifying what you are good at, and to thoroughly develop your career aspirations. It should be accompanied by a good use of key words, which the consultant will use to classify the CVs and cover letters.
- When you have been out of work for a while: explaining the reasons that led to this situation and what you have learnt during this period can be an excellent way of turning a negative point into a positive one.
How to write a cover letter
Without a doubt, the cover letter should always be written honestly and skilfully to highlight what the recipient company wants to hear. A difficult task that can be achieved with experience and advice.
It is essential to write a personalised cover letter for each company to which it is presented. You must demonstrate the knowledge you have about the company and adapt the message you want to get across according to the job on offer. It should be well polished and convincing, whilst not being too long, so as not to discourage the reader.
How to write a cover letter
Before writing it, you should think about what you want to put in it and draft an outline on how you want to start it as well as the subjects you wish to include, so as to encourage the recipient to continue reading. In addition to deciding what the letter should contain, any information that is not so relevant and that could make it too long should be set aside.
How to draft a cover letter
It should be drafted following the outline in a professional tone (not a friendly one), which still allows you to express yourself personally and show the type of person behind the words. Of course, it should be written correctly divided into paragraphs which each focus on one of the points from the outline.
It is recommended that you let some acquaintances have a look at the letter so they can give you their feedback (and check the grammar), and it should be redrafted as many times as necessary. Each letter gets just one opportunity!
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