What is a cover letter and how to write one

 

Understanding cover letter

A cover letter is not your job application per se. It is a short, precise and coherent text that contains any significant information that you would like your potential employer to consider. Do not just reiterate the same points that had already been covered in your CV or other main document, you need to elucidate and give additional information about yourself.

What you should include

The main points that should be covered:

  • Introduce yourself

Just a couple of sentences. Contains the position you are applying for and how you know about it.

  • Specify your skills

What is a cover letter if not an advertisement of yourself? Mention any professional skills that give you an advantage over other candidates: how you perform under pressure, how you work in a team and solo, how you treat and maintain your workplace etc.

  • Describe any relevant previous experience

This may need some research on the particular company and desired position. Find out what can help you do this job better based on what jobs you previously had or activities you participated in.

  • Finish with requesting an interview or meeting.

Things to keep in mind

What is a cover letter going to mean for your application? It can often play the deciding role in whether you acquire the desired position or not.

It is not always read during the first selection of the candidates, this is merely the stage where it is decided which people are fit for the specific post. However, if you pass that, later your cover letter will get considerably more attention.

What is a cover letter’s role in providing information about you? What counts is not just what you write but also how you write it. Your cover letter shows your literary and reporting skills.

Do not be lazy with this, write one for every specific potential employer. What is a cover letter saying about you, if it is vague and general? Make it personal (within appropriate boundaries).

Avoid mentioning a specific salary that you want. If the advertisement requests so – state a salary range that satisfies you.

Do not forget any hobbies or interests outside of your work that would demonstrate some of your personal qualities. After all, what is a cover letter without describing what kind of a person you are? But do not get a lot into that.