Keys to Writing a Standout Cover Letter
Updated: Jan 25
Whether you are brand new to job applications or you’re just looking for something new, there will come a time when you may be scrolling through the offers section and you find it; the perfect job.
Except there’s just one catch, your application needs a cover letter along with it.
You may feel a wave of panic wash over you as you realise, you’ve got no clue how to write one of those.
Fortunately for you, here are some of the best tips for writing a standout cover letter.
Know What a Cover Letter is
You have to be sure you know what you’re doing before you jump right in.
While most of your application will be a formal look at your skills and accomplishments, your cover letter is meant to be a personal presentation of yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be friendly, open, and human in your cover letter. Your future employer just wants to know that they're hiring a real person.
It may sound like a step you should leave back in school, but research is a vital part of any cover letter.
Remember, you need to be sure you know what you're doing before you jump right in.
The proper research will allow you to make a good judgement on how conversational or professional you’ll want to sound.
You don’t want to sound stuffy and stuck up if you’re applying to an obstacle course. Likewise, you don’t want to sound too relaxed if you really want that job as a teacher’s assistant.
Do you see?
Still want to sound personable, so the right research will steer you away from a generic “Dear Sir or Madam”. Show your future employer that you want to know them.
Confidence is key
It goes without saying that employers want someone who is sure of themselves. You want to be direct in who you are and what you can do as well as show your excitement towards the job at hand.
Only then, should you begin referring to your achievements.
Show. Do not Tell
The age-old trick. Keep in mind, your application should handle many of your accomplishments already so be careful when speaking of them. Sometimes it’s best to simply refer to them quickly while describing your skills.
It is while describing your skills you must be most careful. Don’t just talk about how much of a leader you are. Describe how that management position better improved your skills as a leader.
Tone, Style, General Format
Your research will guide your own judgement during this process because quite often things as specific as tone and style are determined by your employer.
First off, try to keep things brief. You don’t have to make the whole letter short, although it could help, but while discussing relevant topics, be sure to do so quickly. Do not drag on or brag excessively.
It’s important to keep in mind that employers may not have time to read through an excessively long cover letter, which is why brevity is often vital.
If you are unsure if you can comfortably and appropriately come off as casual and conversational, you can usually safely hold a more formal tone. While an obstacle course may not love formality, your local library surely wouldn’t pay much attention to a conversational chat.
It goes without saying that you should check and double-check your spelling and grammar before sending in your now fantastic cover letter.
Need more help?
Reach out to the professionals at FAC3 if you still aren’t sure about what to do next. With their help, you don’t need to worry about putting your best foot forward. They’ll help you craft the perfect CV so that you don’t miss any important contact information, professional work history, or applicable skills and achievements. That way you can be sure your CV is perfectly tailored to any field you’re applying for.