How to Write Perfect Cover Letter
Obviously, there are all kinds of different cover letters available for you to write. These stem from job applications, to requests for information, to sales letters to a whole spectrum of other things.
Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that each cover letter should be written in a slightly different manner, based on what you’re hoping to achieve.
However, there are a handful of rules that all cover letters should adhere to no matter who you’re writing to and so we wanted to include this ‘Quick Tips’ section to make that whatever cover letter you’re looking to write, you get off on the right foot.
Keep It Brief
This is the golden rule – no matter how much you want to cram everything that you want to say into a single letter, you just can’t. Cover letters are there simply to introduce yourself and provide a few golden nuggets of information that will encourage the reader to move on to the in-depth information that you’ve enclosed.
Therefore, we suggest that your covering letter should only consist of three or four concise paragraphs and under no circumstances should your letter be any longer than a side of A4 paper.
Do Your Research
Nobody wants junk mail … which means that if your reader feels that 100 other people have got the exact same message as him/her, they’ll just throw it in the bin.
Instead, show that their letter is unique by providing them with details about their company, the job which is on offer or perhaps personal details about their own career. It shows interest and passion and will immediately set you out from a large number of other applicants.
You may snigger slightly at the idea that it will make any sort of impression, but you would be seriously surprised at the number of cover letters that get sent out daily without any kind of personal touch.
Design Your Letter Nicely
Whether you like it or not, the very first impression that the recipient of your letter will get about you is the layout of your page … so make sure it looks nice.
First up, chose a nice clean font which is easy to read. We would recommend a standard Sans Serif font (which doesn’t have ‘swirls’ at the end of each letter) such as Tahoma, Verdana or Arial as they’re widely recognised and show up clearly on a white background.
Choosing more than one font isn’t a problem, but don’t over do it. Using a single font is never wrong, but you might consider emphasising your personal or company details at the header of the page in a different font.
That’s fine, but any more than two fonts and you’re running a gauntlet!
We’re often asked about whether its right to include graphics or images in your covering letter. Obviously, this is a personal choice, but we would always argue against doing anything like that.
The main reason for this is that the content of your letter is more important than any picture so we would broadly say to forget about the fancy images, especially if you’re just thinking about including borders or fancy swirls around the edge of your paper.
Spend the time on perfecting your content instead.
Co-ordinate Where Possible
Essentially your covering letter is a bit like a bridge to the information that you really want to be read … so feel free to treat it as such.
Coordinating the style of your letter with your CV or sales documentation makes it easy for the reader to switch between the two and also makes you more memorable.
Some ideas you might want to consider include inserting your business logo or personal details into the header of both documents and ensuring that they appear identical on each.
Get to the Point
Don’t start trying to use two or three words when one will do. The idea that using long words because you think they make you seem more important needs to be thrown out the window.
As we’ve mentioned above, you need to be clear, concise and to the point or you’ll risk wasting your readers time … which will just mean that everything gets thrown in the bin.
Another trick is to scan your letter for words such as ‘very’ or ‘really’ before you send it. These words add nothing to the value of your letter and can be removed quite easily.
Let the Reader Know What You Want
It’s quite amazing how many cover letters will waffle on for four paragraphs and leave the reader wondering what the overall point of it is.
Therefore, make sure that you clarify exactly what you want in your closing paragraph.
- If you’re applying for a job, then be up front and tell them that you’d love to interview for the role and that you’re available immediately.
- If you’re asking for information, be as precise as possible about what it is that you need to know
- If you’re trying to sell something, be sure to ask them to read your documentation and get back to you with their questions
Don’t spend all your time writing a perfect covering letter and then give the reader an excuse for not getting back to you.
About the author: Nicholas H. Parker is a business coach and marketing manager with a huge experience. He writes articles at Buy Essay Club to share his knowledge with others. He is highly interested in the web design sphere.