I was excited to hear about the open position of social media manager at StarWon from an ex-colleague of mine, Jennifer Henderson. We were on the same social media team at Turbofun for two years, where we worked on eight projects together. I’ve heard great things about the work being done at StarWon, and I’m confident that my skills and experience would be an excellent asset to your team.
Cover letters add context to your CV and allow you to sell your skills and experience to potential employers. To make the best of this opportunity discover how to write a cover letter and take a look at our examples for inspiration
A cover letter is a document sent alongside your CV when applying for jobs. It acts as a personal introduction and helps to sell your application. A cover letter is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you’re the best candidate for the job. You do this by highlighting relevant skills and experience; therefore you should always write your cover letter with the position you’re applying for in mind.
Not to be confused with personal statements for your CV, cover letters should complement your CV but not duplicate it. The general consensus among recruiters when it comes to the length of these documents is the shorter the better. Typically three to five short paragraphs, cover letters should not exceed one A4 page.
How to write a cover letter
Before writing your cover letter it’s important that you do your research. While reading the job description thoroughly is essential, it’s often not enough. To help you craft a successful cover letter discover more about:
- First paragraph – The opening statement should set out why you’re writing the letter. Begin by stating the position you’re applying for, where you saw it advertised and when you are available to start.
- Second paragraph – Highlight relevant experience and demonstrate how your skills match the specific requirements of the job description. Summarise any additional strengths and explain how these could benefit the company.
- Third paragraph – Cover why you’re suitable for the job, what attracted you to this type of work, why you’re interested in working for the company and what you can offer the organisation. This is a good opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company.
- Last paragraph – Use the closing paragraph to round up your letter. Reiterate your interest in the role and indicate your desire for a personal interview. Now is the time to mention any unavailable dates.
Once finished read through the document and cut out any unnecessary words and sentences. Don’t fill up space by repeating what’s already covered in your CV. As a general rule only mention your current salary or salary expectations if the employer has specifically asked you to do so in the job description. If you’re asked to include this information put it between the third and last paragraphs.
Unless the job advert states differently (for example, it may ask you to provide your CV and cover letter as a Word document) save with a .PDF file extension to make sure it can be opened and read on any machine. Windows PCs and Macs don’t always work in harmony – Windows use a .docx file extension and Macs .pages but if the recruiter uses the opposite system they may not be able to open your file. Using a .PDF file extension should solve this.
Start with passion
Employers want to hire people who care about what they’re doing. If you start your cover letter off talking about your passions and how they relate to the job, you’re telling the reader that you’ll be an engaged and motivated employee who’s likely to stick around. Plus, it’s a good way to tell the company a bit about who you are as a person right off the bat. Just be honest and realistic.
- If truly loving data is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It seems like the rest of the folks at [Analytics Company] feel the same way—and that’s just one of the reasons why I think I’d be the perfect next hire for your sales team.
- I’ve been giving my friends and family free style advice since I was 10, and recently decided it’s time I get paid for it. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I found an open personal stylist position at [Company].
- After about three years of trying out different roles at early-stage startups around San Francisco, watching more “find your passion“ keynotes than I’d like to admit, and assuring my parents that, yes, I actually do have a real job, I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m happiest when I’m doing two things: writing great content and getting it out into the world.
- The other day, I took a career assessment, which told me I should be a maritime merchant. I’m not quite sure what that is, but it did get me thinking: A role that combines my skills in business development with my lifelong passion for the ocean would be my absolute dream. Which is how I found this role at Royal Caribbean.
- As a kid, I once gave up a day of a family vacation to transport an injured lizard I found by our hotel two hours each way to the nearest animal hospital (and talked my dad into driving me pre-GPS!). When I was a bit older, I found out I could care for animals every day for a living, and I’ve been working toward that goal ever since.
- “I am constantly checking my LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds—and not because of FOMO. Because I’m someone who wholeheartedly believes in the power of sharing ideas in online communal spaces, and I’m positive that I can help spark meaningful conversations as your next social media assistant.”
- When I was growing up, I wanted to be one of those people who pretend to be statues on the street. Thankfully, my career goals have become a little more aspirational over the years, but I still love to draw a crowd and entertain the masses—passions that make me the perfect community manager.
Cover letter opening template
If you’re still not sure how to start your cover letter, below is a text template you can copy and paste into a document. Once you’ve got your cover letter opening down, don’t forget to pay attention to the rest of your cover letter format.
Address: Street, City, State, Zip Code | Email: [email protected] | Phone: (303) 456-7876 | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/your.profile
I was excited to see the [Position Name] listing at [Company Name] on [Job Search Platform]. Given my [relevant experience] and expertise in [area of expertise], I am writing to express my interest in the position, as I have long admired [Company Name]’s efforts to [company goal]. In my previous work at [Company Name], I [professional accomplishment], demonstrating keen [relevant hard or soft skills]. I believe that these experiences have prepared me well to [professional achievement goal] at [Company Name].
Written by Corissa Peterson
Principles to Remember
Case Study: Demonstrate an understanding of what the company needs.
Michele Sommers, the vice president of HR for the Boys & Girls Village, a nonprofit in Connecticut, recently posted a job for a recruiting and training specialist. “I was looking for someone with a strong recruiting background who could do everything from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires,” she says. She also wanted the person to hit the ground running. “We’re a small team and I can’t afford to train someone,” she says.
More than 100 candidates applied for the job. The organization’s online application system doesn’t allow for cover letter attachments, but one of the applicants, Heidi (not her real name), sent a follow-up email after submitting her résumé. “And it’s a good thing she did, because she would’ve been weeded out otherwise,” Michele says.