Write a cover letter for job applications

Creating a cover letter for a job application is important. It gives you a chance to talk about why you are good for the job. Read some tips that will help you write a great cover letter.

mujer joven escribiendo en el teclado

In the cover letter that goes with your job application, you can write about your skills and achievements in more detail. Here are 7 tips about how to write an excellent cover letter.

1. Use the same format for your cover letter as your resume

The cover letter for a job application and resume should have some the same font size and style. The margins (spaces on the side of the page) should be the same too. You can just cut and paste the top part of the resume (header) that includes your contact information.

2. Don’t repeat your resume in your cover letter

Do not use the exact same words as in your resume. This can be boring to read for employers. Instead, tell a story or more detail about an achievement. An example would be a bullet on your resume that says you did accounting at your old company. You could choose to tell a story about the time you fixed an accounting mistake and saved the company money.

3. Don’t talk about what you don’t have

Nobody has every skill that is written in a job description. If you have 80%, you are a good candidate. Never mention that you are lacking a skill. Instead, focus on what your are good at.

4. Use your cover letter to say why you like the company

It is important that the employer feels that you really want to work for them. If you just found the position online, go to their website. Read the “about” section and learn about what their product or work is. Look at their “mission and vision” section. That is where companies talk about their goals and what is important to their company. Pick out something that you like about the company and mention it at the end of the cover letter.

5. Talk about yourself and not the team

Many countries value being a part of a community or team. However, the USA is an individualistic country. This means American employers want to hear about what your specific strengths. Use the word “I” instead of “we” to impress the employer. It may feel difficult but will become easier with practice.

6. Do some research

You will need to write the company contact information on your cover letter for a job application. One of the things that is good to know is the hiring manager’s name. Sometimes, it is written on the job description. If not, look up the company on LinkedIn, which is a site for job networking. If you find it, put it in your cover letter. It will show the employer that you pay attention to detail and do extra work.

7. Mention what makes you different

There is a good chance many people applied for the job you want. A cover letter is your chance to say what makes you different. You should talk about how your skills can help the organization. For example, as an immigrant, you speak another language. This is important because many companies have diverse employees or offices in other countries. You also may have worked or volunteered with people from different cultures. Make sure to mention this.

Use cover letter examples

On our cover letter examples page, you can find examples of good cover letters. You will see a sample letter for an entry-level job and a sample letter for a professional job. You will be able to download examples of both letters in Word and change them to suit your own application.