Knowing About the Anatomy of the Cover Letter
A professionally formatted cover letter enhances the chances of your application getting noticed by the recruiters. A poorly formatted cover letter, on the other hand, shows the insincerity of the candidates.
It is fairly easy to create an error-free cover letter that delivers your case to the recruiter efficiently. You just have to keep the following steps in mind to create a good cover letter for your job application.
Step-By-Step Instruction for Formatting a Perfect Cover Letter
A cover letter is one type of business letter that comes with a rigid format. You have to follow the below breakdowns to make sure your cover letter looks great.
Salutation and Contact Information
Make sure your contact information is accurate and up to date. Place this information on the top of your cover letter. You should greet the recruiter formally. If you don’t know the name of the recruiter, then use a professional yet general salutation.
The first paragraph of your cover letter is considered as the introduction. You should mention the job you are seeking and the reasons for your application. If you are being referred by someone, make sure to mention that as well.
Briefly describe your background and the skills you have acquired over the years. You should also convey your enthusiasm about the position and tell the reasons for your interest in the position. You should also mention how you can make a positive impact on the company if you do join the position.
This is the section where you should elaborate on the details about your skills and how they are a good fit for this position. Always mention the relevant skills based on the requirements of the job description. You should mention your work history here and elaborate on the achievements related to that position. The goal of this section is to show the recruiter that you understand the mission of the company perfectly and that you are the best person for the position.
You should finish the cover letter positively. Thank the recruiter for his/her valuable time. You should use the word sincerely or other synonyms before signing off. Write your full name while signing off, and add your basic contact details in the footer below your name.
Don’t wait for a long time after sending your cover letter. Follow up on your job application to show your enthusiasm about the position.
Tips for Formatting Your Cover Letter
Stick With Standard Fonts and Font Sizes
A cover letter should be considered as a business letter. That simply means the cover letter should be concise and should not be longer than a single page. You should keep in mind that you are writing to a company about a professional matter which is intricately related to your future employment.
So, you should stick with widely accepted professional fonts, like:
- Book Antiqua
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
Never even think about using fonts like Comic Sans. If you do that, your cover letter, as well as your resume, can get rejected by most of the recruiters.
This same rule also gets applied to the font size. Use the standard font size of 10-12 pts to give your cover letter a professional look. Remember, the fonts should be large enough to be readable, but not so large that it becomes cartoonish.
Consistent Spelling Is the Key
Each of the above mentioned anatomical parts of your cover letter should be separate from the other. You can use a line break or keep considerable space between two sections to give your cover letter a consistent yet professional look.
Maintain single spacing throughout your cover letter. Don’t keep large chunks of paragraphs in it. Instead, break down the larger paragraphs into smaller and more digestible chunks. This simple trick makes it easier for the recruiters to scan through your cover letter easily.
Keep 1 Inch Margin
As it is a business letter, you should maintain a margin of 1 inch in all the four sides of the page. This margin will give your cover letter a more open and easy to access look. You can check free samples available on the internet to get an idea about the margins.
Make Sure That Your Resume Design Matches Your Cover Letter
If you use the same designing style for creating your cover letter as well as the resume, it will create a more serious yet polished look. This complimentary design also shows your dedication to the job and creates a strong impact on the recruiter.
Proofread Your Cover Letter
There is nothing more frustrating to a recruiter than a cover letter riddled with typos and grammatical errors. So, after writing the cover letter and before submitting it, make sure to proofread.
Easy Tips for Cover Letter Customization
You should not use a one size fits all approach when it comes to your cover letter. If you do, it tells the recruiter then you did not invest enough time to go through the job description minutely.
It also indicates that you did not even think about the job position before sending the cover letter. These frustrate the recruiters which enhance the chance of your resume to get rejected.
To enhance the chances of calls to the interview, you should customize the cover letter for the job position you are seeking. Follow these easy tricks to make customization of your cover letter easy.
- Highlighting the Right Qualification: Each job requires a different set of skills and qualifications. So, read the job description well before customizing your cover letter. Make sure to highlight the skills and qualifications which are the best match for the job you are seeking.
- Show That You Understand The Company: Making a generic statement about a company is easy. But the recruiters want to know if you truly are interested in the job position. Explaining something specific about the company and your job role helps the recruiters to understand that you have invested some quality time doing homework.
- Use Designs That Fits The Company: If you are applying for a job in a start-up company, your cover letter should resonate the energy and the creativity that such companies require. If you are applying for a job in an established company, make sure to create a cover letter that has a straightforward and professional look.
- Use Keywords: You should use keywords while customizing your cover letter. Read the job description carefully to find out the words that you can use in your cover letter. Make sure that the keywords you choose align with your skills and achievements described in the letter.