Cover letter overview tips

Are you looking for the best cover letter tips and tricks? Then you’ve stumbled upon the right blog. After all, what beats getting all the ins and outs from an actual temp agency, right? In this article, we’ll start off by explaining what a cover letter is and why it’s important. Then, we’ll move on to how to write a cover letter, and finally, give you an insight with some examples.

What’s a cover letter?

Cover letters are used to accompany your CV. It’s a document you send alongside your CV, and contains around 250 to 400 words. People usually confuse the purpose of a CV with one of a cover letter, but they definitely differ. The difference is that your CV showcases all of your work history, skills, and education, while in a cover letter, you’ll focus on some of the main points. This’ll give you the opportunity to highlight certain skills and work experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for, and explain why you’re the perfect candidate.

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How important are cover letters?

Cover letters are not always mandatory when it comes to applying for a job. Don’t get it twisted, you can absolutely find a job without a cover letter. However, this can be a make or break factor in a job application. This is your chance to set yourself apart from the other candidates. Most applicants save the ‘why you’ answer for the interview. Why wait? State it in your cover letter! Besides, it shows your potential new employers that you took the initiative to do some research on the company.

This’ll be the first impression you make on the hiring managers, so by the time you get to the interview, you already feel welcome. So, were you hesitating on going ahead with a job application because of a cover letter? Just take that last step, and it’ll save you the distress of getting a rejection email.

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How to write a cover letter for a job:

Don’t know how to start a cover letter? A couple of important things to keep in mind before you start writing:

  • Do your research on the company

  • Doing research before you start writing your cover letter for a job application is important. Why? Because you’ll want to show them that you actually know about the company and the things that make you want to work there. This is also a way of making your cover letter more personalised.

  • Establish the tone of voice you need to use

  • Of course, you’ll start your cover letter off by explaining your current situation, and what your skills and experiences are. However, it’s important to start thinking about how your future will look like at the company you’re applying to. For example, in which areas do you think you can add value to the team/company?

  • Think about the future

  • Of course, you’ll start your cover letter off by explaining your current situation, and what your skills and experiences are. However, it’s important to start thinking about how your future will look like at the company you’re applying to. For example, in which areas do you think you can add value to the team/company?

All done thinking about these 3 points? Great. Now you can move on to the next step, which is structuring your cover letter. Here are some things to include in your structure; they’ll help you create a good layout for your cover letter. Start off by listing your personal details, then move on to greeting the receiver, introduction, body, conclusion, and sign-off. If you’ve already created a layout, but are unsure of what to include, check out our cover letter template.

When you’ve got your cover letter’s structure and layout under your belt, move on to actually writing your cover letter. Remember, that the start of your letter is an opportunity to make a good first impression on the hiring managers. So, you should probably spend some time doing this - read through all the details on how to start a good cover letter.

After you’re done with your structure and beginning, it’s time to work on how to end a cover letter. The ending of your letter is a conclusion, so you’ll be summarising the most important points and keeping in mind the following:

  • Relate back to the job description
  • Keep it short
  • Show confidence
  • Be polite
  • Your contact details

Each point is explained in detail in our article on how to end a cover letter - check it out.

Examples of good cover letters:

Want to check whether your cover letter is good enough? Check out our cover letter examples. You’ll find different types of layouts and structure; from long to short cover letter examples.

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Cover letter: key takeaways

A cover letter is your way to set yourself apart from the other applicants. So, to summarise the key aspects of this article: the structure, beginning, and ending are the most important things to keep in mind. But, before you even do all of this, do your research on the company, think about your future there, and establish a tone of voice.

After doing this, move on to the cover letter’s layout and structure. All done? Now start writing your letter, keeping in mind introducing yourself, greeting the reader, and listing your skills, experiences, and how they relate to the job. The final part is to summarise everything you just mentioned in a brief and concise way. Keep our cover letter examples open in a tab for guidance.

FAQs about cover letters

  • What 3 things are in a cover letter?

  • Your cover letter should include an introduction, body, and conclusion. You’ll briefly introduce yourself and greet the reader in the introduction. In the body, you’ll be reflecting on your mission and vision in regard to the job description, as well as listing your strengths and experience. All done? Now it’s time to summarise your main points.

  • How do I write a simple cover letter?

  • Nobody likes reading a really long cover letter, so it’s important to keep it short yet informative. Peep our cover letter examples and find a short cover letter example in there to help you out.

  • How long should a cover letter be?

  • Ideally, a cover letter should be around 250 to 400 words. But your cover letter can be longer - don’t exceed one page though.

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