What Makes a Good Cover Letter?

Struggling with writing the perfect cover letter? Don’t worry. By the time you finish reading this article, you will get to know what are the core qualities of a good cover letter. It’s always important to take ample amount of time to write a great cover letter and have it reviewed by either a friend or a colleague before you mail it. Remember, a cover letter is an introduction of yourself to the recruiter via text! It will take additional effort and some strategic writing skills to get noticed. So if you’re starting out to write your cover letter, here are some essential qualities of a good cover letter you should know.

1. Has the right salutations 

Salutations are sometimes challenging especially when you don’t know the gender, the name or the position of the person you’re writing to. In such cases, it’s always good to stay neutral instead of using honorifics like Mr. Miss, Mrs etc. Simply, Dear Recruiter, or Greetings! or, Hello! should suffice. Remember, using the wrong salutations gives the wrong impression.

2. Has an impressive opening line 

“I would like to write this letter to apply for …” This is too generic, obvious and definitely not impressive. A great opening line should be able to get the immediate attention of the reader.  It should have no doubt, no presumption and should immediately convey to the reader why you think you’re the best fit for this job. “I am a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience & I have just the skill set you’re looking for in this job,” makes for a powerful opening line.

3. Has easy to read paragraphs with active sentences 

A good cover letter doesn’t beat around the bush. It is direct, powerful and has active sentences to convey the candidates’ skills and professional experience. The paragraphs are broken into small chunks of two to three lines and make it easy for the reader to read. There is also limited use of meaningless jargon while still keeping the professional tone.

4. Has absolutely no typos

Serious candidates ensure their cover letter has no typos and grammatical flaws that could affect the quality of the letter. If you’re not sure of spellings or grammar, it is always a great idea to run it by someone who has good lingual skills or use editing software to minimize chances of error.

5. Has your personality shine through 

A cover letter is not supposed to be a lengthy description of your professional experience which is already given in the resume. It’s an introduction you give of yourself to the employer and giving them a perception of your personality through your letter. A great cover letter is one that is able to have a personal touch reflecting the candidate’s personality while still being able to retain a professional outlook.

6. It is tailored to the company you’re applying for

One of the biggest mistakes candidates make is to send the same cover letter to multiple organizations. Keeping it generic will not help you. Instead, the smarter way would be to tailor each letter according to the company and its job description. A great way to do this would be to fill in certain facts or stats relevant to the company and connecting it to your expertise, showing how you can help them. This kind of specific information will present you as a candidate who has done his homework and knows what he can do.

An effective cover letter has a clear, direct, and strong message to the recruiter and you are in control of that message. Send out a good cover letter and you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed over hundreds of letters and applications.

Have anything you’re specifically struggling with while writing a cover letter? Let us know in the comments below!

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