Writing the perfect cover letter doesn’t happen from one moment to another. It’s a long process of research and proofreading, but it is worth the effort! Even though there’s no clear-cut formula and cover letters will always be subjective, there are some tips, which will prevent you from sitting in front of a blank paper, with your mind going blank.
If you follow these cover letter tips and tricks, it won’t take too long to write the perfect cover letter of your own!
How to write the perfect cover letter?
1. Don’t get frustrated – it takes time for everyone
In the beginning, it might seem that you waste your time by customizing everything and rewriting your skills & experiences but trust us: every (good) candidate does this, and it’s time-consuming for everyone – you’re not going to lag behind them. Even if you get rejected, you should give 110% so you won’t feel any resentment.
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2. Keep it short
Employers don’t have a lot of time to look through job applications – so, keep it short. Generally, this means 4 paragraphs – between half a page and one page. Don’t try to fit your whole career and life into the few lines of the cover letter. Sometimes less is more!
3. Tailor it to the job
The hiring managers see hundreds of cover letters every day – they know all the cover letter templates and general expressions. Remember to keep in mind the perspective of the employer, and focus on why they should be hiring you. The application letter should explain how you can meet the employer’s needs with your skills, interests, and experience – and should point out the potential value, that you bring to the employer. So what do you have to do?
- Read through the job opening carefully
- Try to sense the most important skills the employer is looking for
- Choose the most relevant 2-3 skills and put them into context: demonstrate previous experiences when you proved these skills.
4. Examples, examples, and more examples
Quality over quantity – don’t just try to write down all the skills you might know, because that’s what the CV is for. In the application letter, you should rather focus on giving a broader overview of 2-3 skills and explain, what you used them for. Always write examples to showcase these skills. Remember, we said to imagine being the employer, exampling what you look for in a job helps them give idea if your a good fit for them.
5. Tangible Proof – Numbers and key facts
The main aim is to sound as professional as possible while staying authentic. The golden rule is to include numbers and other key facts to demonstrate your strengths instead of using fancy Shakespearean words.
6. Avoid cliches
“I’m very interested in this position. I believe that my education and employment experiences make me an ideal candidate.”…Sounds familiar, right? These are the first lines of 95% of the applications. Try to crawl up into the top 5% by already showing from the very beginning that you’re different from the others. Use sentences, like: “Your outstanding XY job opening seemed really appealing to me since I indulged my passion for this industry during my whole education and working past. It would be my honor to help the company grow further!”
7. Don’t apologize, explain!
If you’re missing any crucial skills the job opening includes, don’t focus on that. Point out skills that could substitute that crucial one: if you’re lacking knowledge in software, emphasize how proactive and fast-learning you are, and explain that in your previous job what kind of new skills you acquired, and how fast! The application letter gives you a great opportunity to explain your employment gap(s) as well.
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8. Cover Letter in English
If you are interested in an international job position or an international startup, having a perfect English cover letter is inevitable. Next to eliminating grammar mistakes, you can do way more to make your cover letter stand out if you need to send a cover letter in English!
9. Select the right cover letter format
There are powerful ways to start a cover letter. The startup world is famous for innovation, therefore most employers are not receiving physical cover letters anymore. When you’re sending your cover letter via email, there are some formatting requirements you have to meet. These cover letter examples will give you a good overview of the general application letter format!
You can make a perfect cover letter without proofreading. Because of the high amount of cover letters recruiters read, a small typo or another minor mistake can make them pass on your application. This is also not exclusive to cover letters, your CV also needs to be proofread too! Make sure you really double-check everything:
- grammar mistakes & spelling errors
- formatting requirements
- your correct contact details
- the correct company name and job title
- the instructions are given in the job description
Writing a cover letter is never easy. Make sure you follow these guidelines to bring the most out of it:
- Keep it a maximum of one page, including just the necessary information and skills relevant to the job.
- Always include some tangible proof of your skills from previous experiences.
- Don’t use cliches, and check out our example sentences to help you brainstorm.
- Keep it professional, clean, and structured.
Now you know how to write the perfect cover letter! If you listen to our tips, it’s likely that you’ll get an opportunity for a job interview. Grab every opportunity to be seen as promising and get prepared with a bunch of intelligent questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview!