How to Write That Really Effective Cover Letter

If you’re looking for a job, long before the recruiter sees your resume, it is the cover letter that can make a good first impression, or land your papers in the trash. Thus, to stand out from a large pool of applicants, your cover letter also needs to stand out.

The two things always required by employers is a cover letter and a resume. Naturally, the resume will show off your experience and accomplishments in short summary formats. Your cover letter lets you summarize the most vital points in that resume and offer a detailed explanation of why you’re the right one for the job. The cover letter can also demonstrate your strong writing and communication skills, assuming it was you who wrote your cover letter.

When writing a, you need to consider the following:

Before you even write:

Use a basic cover letter format – old school type – but the content should be customized for each employer. The simpler the format and appearance, the better.

Always research each of your prospective employers and the position and work for each before even starting on it.

Take the time to organize clear and precise sentences. Remember that the employer is evaluating how good your writing skills are.

Always do careful proofreading to prevent errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You can ask a professional or a friend to read your letter before sending it.

The Header

The header should contain the name and contact information such as address, phone number, and e-mail address of the applicant. This is immediately followed by the date, and the company’s contact information. The best address at the beginning of the company’s contact information is one addressed to a specific person, complete with the specific position.

Introduction

Always begin with the proper salutation to the person specifically concerned such as ‘Dear Mr. Smith.’ If the gender can’t be determined, simply use the full name as the salutation. ‘To whom it may concern’ are outmoded salutations that should be discontinued as well as those ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ types.

Tell the company who you are and why you are applying for the job. Move on to a brief summary of your relevant education and experience. You can also mention how you learned about the position or who endorsed you to it. If the person who endorsed you is personally connected to the company, mention the reference in full name.

Body

This is the part where you convince the company that you’re the right person for the job. You need to show the recruiter that you possess the skills required for the job, both hard skills and soft skills, and mention a few achievements and accomplishments to highlight those skills. Give reasons how well you can cultivate relationships with your employer and co-workers.

Closing

Your closing statement should simply state or summarize why the company should hire you above all other applicants. Give your contact information to reiterate that you are ready any time for an interview. One nice closing is to thank the recruiter for taking time in considering your cover letter. This shows great respect and a pleasant closing to the letter.

Three Simple Tips for Writing Effective Cover Letters!

Dear Mr Smith,

It is with great excitement that I am writing to you to submit my application for your advertised vacancy.

As you will see from my attached CV, I have 20 years experience working as an accountant and am a qualified CPA. I have worked in the past with a variety of clients from a wide range of industries and I look forward to being able to bring this experience into your firm.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my application and I look forward to being able to meet with you in person for an interview.

Yours Sincerely,

Fred Bloggs. CPA

OK, so that is obviously not a real cover letter, however you might be surprised to know that if it were, it would not be even close to the shortest or most generic I have received as a recruitment consultant or as a hiring manager. There is not anything that is particularly wrong with the example cover letter above, but there isn’t really anything great about it either. It does nothing more than introduce your CV. In my opinion that is an absolute missed opportunity!

In preparing this post, I thought about running through a cover letter paragraph by paragraph. In the end though, I thought it might be more constructive write a short and sharp post that covers what are three very simple (but very useful) tips that I hope will help you land more interviews!

Tip 1 – How do you meet the advertisers requirements?

I see so many letters that talk generally about what skills, experience & knowledge that an applicant has. However, a lot of what the applicant has included does not actually address any specific requirements mentioned in the job ad. Don’t get me wrong, it is always important to showcase and to be proud of your experience & achievements. That said, if you want your application to really stand out, try to specifically address how your skills, knowledge and experience suit the position based on your understanding of the vacant role (from the ad, job description, etc.).

Tip 2 – Show you have done some homework!

If the advertisement you are responding to has been advertised directly by the employer (as opposed to a recruiter), try to learn about the company. Look at their website, talk to anyone you know that works or has worked there, Google search, etc. You can then use what you have learned in your cover letter. For example:

“Before writing this letter, I wanted to learn more about Xyz Pty Ltd and from my research was incredibly impressed with the number of positive customer reviews I found online as well as with the business being recently certified as carbon neutral.”

This can be a great way to show that you have a genuine interest in the role and the business as opposed to just sitting on a job site sending out applications to everything you see.

Tip 3 – If you are using a template letter make sure you update it!

If you are following the first two steps, the process of using the same letter each time may prove more difficult as you will be constantly changing larger parts of the letter to specifically address the role you are applying to. However, the structure of your letter and the opening and closing for example should be much the same. Try and always save a copy (Save As) rather than just overwriting your current template, and give the letter a unique file name. Something I have seen quite a lot of over my career is people sending in cover letters that might be addressed to other recruitment agencies or people and for completely unrelated roles. It is unfortunate when this happens (and I assure you, it happens more than you may think!) because the applicants have in many cases destroyed any hope of getting an interview for that specific role. So ‘Save As’, then ‘Save’ often!

I really hope you find these three tips useful when writing cover letters. If you have any questions about the process of writing letters or have some other tips you might like to share, please feel free to post a comment below.

Highly Effective Cover Letters For Your Bartender Resume

If you want to get a bartending job, you must get your bartender resume read. Unfortunately, a lot of effort is spent by job-seekers on writing a resume, but they usually ignore the cover letter completely. Your cover letter will have the most important role when applying for a bartending job. The employer will first look over your cover letter, and if he doesn’t see anything interesting, the whole resume gets ignored – however great it was.

To market yourself and determine what you can or have, the cover letter is your only chance. The following are some quick-fix tips for your bartending cover letter.

1. ADDRESS your cover letter to a specific person. Don’t just create an addresse like “To The Manager”. Do the best you can to get the full name and information of who the letter is addressed to. When the employer sees their name on there, they will be very impressed.

2. OPEN with an attention-grabbing first sentence to really grip the reader. Like on the web, to make your site ranked high, you need to do a keyword phrase mixed with an eye catching message to be counted. Doing this strategy will get you a high guarantee that your cover letter and resume gets a closer look.

3. REMEMBER Less is more. The best cover letters must have more white space. Don’t write too much in one paragraph. Two hundred (200) words is enough or either 4 sentences in a paragraph is preferable. Cover letters that are clear, focused, short and sweet land more job interviews-period.

4. FOCUS on what you can do for the employer. How can you benefit the company specifically? And what things you could contribute to the establishment you are applying for? Can you give him more a flairtricks? How are you with handling money? Are you fast? They also love to see HONESTY and POSITIVE ATTITTUDE. Do a little research and relate this simply and clearly in your letter.

5. CHOOSE WORDS that show enthusiasm and passion for the bartending position you seek. When you do, that enthusiasm will bring you to an outstanding interview. Be full of energy when you arrive for the interview.

6. REQUEST ONE ACTION you want the employer to take. Most of bartending resumes had an ending Phrase like- “I would like to attend an interview at any time at your convinience”. That’s not specific either. You can’t be sure that you are always free. You can write this instead;”I would really love the opportunity for a personal interview this week.” Now, the employer would think that you are only be free for this week and may take an action to call you immediately.