How to Write a Cover Letter That Gets You Noticed (and Hired!)

Wednesday, May 22nd 2024. | Resume

Landing your dream job takes more than a stellar resume. Your cover letter is your chance to shine, showcasing your personality and proving you’re the perfect fit for the role and the company. But crafting a compelling cover letter can feel daunting. No worries! This guide will walk you through the process with actionable tips, examples, and answers to your burning questions.

Unlocking the Power of a Great Cover Letter:
1. Research is Your Secret Weapon:
Don’t underestimate the power of research! Before you write a single word, delve into:

  • The Company: Explore their website, mission statement, values, and recent news. What challenges are they facing? How can your skills help them succeed?
  • The Role: Analyze the job description like a detective. Identify keywords, required skills, and desired experience. Tailor your language to mirror these elements.
  • The Hiring Manager (if possible): Personalizing your letter shows initiative. LinkedIn and company websites are great resources to uncover the hiring manager’s name and professional background.

2. Nail the Cover Letter Format:
First impressions matter! Adhere to a professional format for maximum impact:

  • Your Contact Information: Name, Phone Number, Email Address, LinkedIn Profile (optional)
  • Date
  • Hiring Manager’s Information: Name (if known), Title, Company, Address
  • Salutation: “Dear [Hiring Manager Name],” (if known) or “Dear Hiring Manager,”
  • Body Paragraphs: 3-4 concise paragraphs (more on this below!)
  • Closing: “Sincerely,” or “Best regards,” followed by your typed full name.

3. Craft a Captivating Opening:
Your first paragraph needs to hook the reader and make them want to learn more. Here’s how:

  • State your purpose: Clearly mention the specific position you’re applying for and where you found the posting (e.g., company website, job board).
  • Introduce yourself and your relevance: Briefly highlight your experience and how it aligns with the role.
  • Highlight a key achievement: Pique their interest by showcasing a relevant accomplishment that demonstrates your value.


“Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

I am writing to express my keen interest in the Marketing Manager position advertised on LinkedIn. With 5+ years of experience developing and executing successful marketing campaigns, I am confident in my ability to drive results and exceed expectations in this role.”

4. Tell Your Story with Powerful Storytelling:
The middle paragraphs are your opportunity to expand on your skills and experiences, providing specific examples and showcasing your value:

  • Focus on accomplishments, not just duties: Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to demonstrate your impact.
  • Quantify whenever possible: Use numbers, data, and metrics to demonstrate your achievements and make your contributions tangible.
  • Tailor to the job description: Address the specific needs and challenges outlined in the job posting, illustrating how you’re equipped to handle them.

“In my previous role at [Company Name], I spearheaded the launch of a new product line that resulted in a 15% increase in sales within the first quarter. I achieved this by conducting thorough market research, developing a targeted marketing strategy, and managing a team of marketing professionals.”

5. End Strong with a Call to Action:
Your closing paragraph should leave a lasting impression and encourage the hiring manager to take the next step:

  • Reiterate your enthusiasm: Briefly state why you’re excited about the opportunity and the company.
  • Summarize your value proposition: Reemphasize how your skills and experiences align with their needs.
  • Thank them for their time: Express your gratitude for their consideration.
  • Mention your availability and preferred contact method: “I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience and can be reached at [phone number] or [email address].”

6. Let Your Personality Shine:
While maintaining professionalism, inject your authentic voice and enthusiasm into your writing.

  • Use strong verbs and active voice: “Managed a team” vs. “Was responsible for a team.”
  • Be concise and engaging: Avoid jargon and overly formal language.
  • Proofread meticulously: Errors can be distracting and undermine your credibility.

7. Tailor, Tailor, Tailor!
Never send a generic cover letter! Each letter should be unique and customized to the specific company and position you’re applying for.

8. Go the Extra Mile:
Consider including a portfolio or links to relevant work samples to further showcase your skills and accomplishments.

FAQs: Your Cover Letter Questions Answered:
1. How long should my cover letter be?
Aim for a one-page maximum. Hiring managers are busy and appreciate concise, impactful writing.
2. Should I mention my salary expectations?
It’s generally best to avoid discussing salary in your cover letter unless explicitly requested in the job posting.
3. What if I have a gap in my employment history?
Address any gaps honestly and briefly, focusing on what you learned or accomplished during that time.
4. Should I use a cover letter template?
While templates can provide a basic structure, it’s essential to personalize your letter extensively to avoid sounding generic.
5. Can I reuse the same cover letter for multiple jobs?
Each cover letter should be tailored to the specific job and company. Reusing the same letter can make you appear uninterested or lazy.
6. When is the best time to follow up after sending my application?
Wait at least 3-5 business days after the application deadline (if applicable) or after sending your application.

Crafting Your Path to Success:
Writing a compelling cover letter takes time and effort, but it’s a worthwhile investment in your career. By following these tips and showcasing your passion and qualifications, you’ll significantly increase your chances of landing that interview and securing your dream job. Good luck!

How to Write a Killer Cover Letter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Your cover letter is your first impression. It’s your chance to showcase your personality, skills, and enthusiasm for the role beyond your resume. Here’s how to write a cover letter that stands out:

1. Research and Preparation:

  • Understand the company and role: Explore their website, read about their mission and values, and analyze the job description.
  • Identify keywords: Look for specific skills and experiences mentioned in the job description and use them throughout your letter.
  • Find the hiring manager’s name: Personalizing your letter shows effort and makes it more impactful.

2. Formatting and Structure:

  • Your Contact Information: Include your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (optional) at the top.
  • Date: Write the date below your contact information.
  • Hiring Manager’s Information: Include their name, title, company, and address.
  • Salutation: Start with “Dear [Hiring Manager’s name],” (if you have it) or “Dear Hiring Manager,”
  • Body Paragraphs: Aim for 3-4 concise paragraphs.
  • Closing: End with “Sincerely,” or “Best regards,” followed by your full name.

3. Content and Storytelling:

  • Opening Paragraph:
    State the specific position you are applying for and where you found the posting.
    Briefly introduce yourself and your relevant experience.
    Highlight your strongest asset or achievement that aligns with the job requirements.
  • Middle Paragraphs:
    Expand on your skills and experiences mentioned in your resume, but provide context and specific examples.
    Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to showcase your accomplishments and how they relate to the job.
    Quantify your achievements with numbers and data whenever possible.
    Address any specific requirements or challenges mentioned in the job description.
  • Closing Paragraph:
    Reiterate your enthusiasm for the role and company.
    Briefly state how your skills and experiences can benefit the company.
    Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration.
    Mention your availability for an interview and your preferred contact method.

4. Polish and Proofread:

  • Keep it concise: Aim for a one-page cover letter.
  • Use active voice and strong verbs: This makes your writing more impactful and engaging.
  • Tailor each cover letter: Never send a generic letter. Always customize it to the specific job and company.
  • Proofread carefully: Check for any grammatical errors, typos, or formatting issues.

5. Additional Tips:

  • Show your personality: While remaining professional, let your enthusiasm and unique voice shine through.
  • Highlight your soft skills: Mention skills like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving alongside your technical abilities.
  • Follow submission guidelines: Pay attention to any specific instructions regarding file format, length, or content.

Example Cover Letter:

Dear [Hiring Manager name],

I am writing to express my enthusiastic interest in the [Job title] position advertised on [Platform where you found the job posting]. With my [Number] years of experience in [Relevant industry] and proven track record of [Key achievement], I am confident I possess the skills and qualifications to excel in this role and contribute to [Company name]’s continued success.

In my previous role at [Previous company name], I successfully [Describe a relevant achievement using the STAR method]. This involved [Specific tasks and actions taken], resulting in [Quantifiable results]. I am adept at [List relevant skills] and possess a strong understanding of [Relevant industry knowledge].

I am particularly drawn to [Company name]’s [Mention company values or mission that resonates with you]. I believe my passion for [Relevant field] and dedication to [Desired outcome] align perfectly with your company’s goals.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to learn more about this exciting opportunity and discuss how my skills and experience can benefit your team. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience and can be reached at [Phone number] or [Email address].

[Your full name]

Remember, your cover letter is your chance to make a lasting impression. By following these steps and putting in the effort, you can craft a compelling narrative that showcases your potential and lands you the interview!