Crafting a Winning Cover Letter: Format, Templates, and Sample Letters > Post > Blog
Career Development / Career Growth, CV / Resume. Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023
The job search process can sometimes be a bit daunting and time-consuming. So, you want to make sure that you get all your ducks in a row and spend time on the things that will truly make a difference. When applying for a job, you need to strategize on how to stand out from the crowd. After all, hundreds if not thousands of other job seekers could be wanting the same position you do. You might be wondering whether a cover letter is really necessary and if hiring managers would actually read them or not.
Well, turns out the answer is yes, cover letters are an important part of the job application process and it might be the first document that hiring managers read before going through your CV. It could serve as the first impression and may even determine whether or not the recruiter will spend time taking a look at your CV. A strong, well-written cover letter that is concise and relevant to the job will definitely help you stand out from the sea of competitors. Read on to learn the proper cover letter format and check out our cover letter samples we’ve provided below.
What Is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that complements a CV or resume when applying for a job. It allows you to highlight your key skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the role you’re interested in. Unlike in a CV or resume, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to elaborate on your professional experiences whilst showcasing a bit about your personality and attitude. You shouldn’t simply repeat all the information contained in your CV; instead, make use of the opportunity to wow your hiring manager.
How does one go about that? We’ll show you how!
Cover Letter Format
First, you need to understand the key elements that should be included in a cover letter and how to format it properly. Below is a description of the cover letter template you can use. Keep in mind that you must never use a generic cover letter where you send the same document to each and every job. That’s a big no-no! Each cover letter has to be crafted and tailored specifically for the particular job you are applying for. Hiring managers can sniff out the generic letters from a mile away and it’s a huge turn off. Investing the time and effort to write a thoughtful and personalised cover letter is what will grab a recruiter’s attention and respect.
The layout of your cover letter format must be a short and concise, one page document with a clear and easy to read font (e.g. Times, Calibri, Arial). In general, a cover letter should contain three to four short paragraphs.
The first section of your cover letter must include your name and contact information. Include your telephone number, email address, and location. You do not need to mention your full residential address; your city and country are enough.
Next, mention the date as you would normally do with any letter.
Contact Person’s Name, Designation/Title, Employer, and Address
Include the hiring manager’s name. This shows that you made the effort to write a personalised letter. If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager or contact person (usually mentioned in the job advertisement), use LinkedIn to search for the people in the HR department or call the company and ask for the HR manager’s name.
Address the contact person appropriately (e.g. Dear Mr. Suren/Dear Ms. Sarah). If you weren’t able to find the contact person’s name, you may use something like Dear Hiring Manager or Dear Prospective Employer.
Start off your cover letter in a way that will hook the hiring manager or recruiter. Do your research on the company and role. Then demonstrate your understanding of the company and your enthusiasm for the position. Briefly mention why you want this role and what makes you a good fit.
Be specific about why you would be a good fit for this role by describing the most relevant skills and qualifications you possess.
Provide quantifiable achievements to back up your qualifications. Including numbers helps you clearly demonstrate how you have applied your skills to achieve real, tangible results. Instead of just saying you are a great sales executive, saying you made over 75 cold calls which results in an 15% increase in sales solidifies your capabilities.
Once again, emphasise why you’d be a good fit for this role. You may mention your anticipation for an interview and that you will follow up within a certain timeframe. Thank the reader for their time and consideration of your application.
Finally, sign off professionally and include your first and last name.
Cover Letter Template
While you should never send generic cover letters to prospective employers, you can use a template that helps you create the right structure which you can use to build upon. Try one of our cover letter templates below to help make the process easier.
It is a pleasure to be writing to you about my interest in the [position title] position at [Company]. I’m a [professional title] with over [number of years] years of experience in the [industry] sector. I believe that my passion for [passion relevant to field/industry], [skill], and [skill] make me an ideal candidate for this position.
In my role as a [current job], I achieved [result] in [project name] project by [what you did]. In my previous role as a [past job], I [accomplishment] by [skill/what you did]. My [skill #], [skill #2], and [skill #3] have helped me become an [skill or role].
Additionally, I [skill/accomplishment] by [what you did].
I believe I would make a great asset to your team. I will follow up with you in [duration] and look forward to having the opportunity for an interview to speak further about how I may contribute to [Company].
[Your First and Last Name]
Sample Cover Letter
Dear Mr. Harindu,
It is a pleasure to be writing to you about my interest in the Sales Manager position at ABC Ltd. I’m a Senior Sales professional with over ten years of experience in the FMCG sector. I believe that my passion for customer relationship management, strong work ethic, and communication skills make me an ideal candidate for this position.
In my role as a Senior Sales Associate, I initiated a sales strategy that resulted in a 20% increase in sales revenue during the Christmas holiday season. In my previous role as a Sales Associate, I hit and exceeded the sales KPIs by 15% last year. My relationship-building skills and love for being of service has helped shape my career trajectory.
In addition, I take pride in training and developing my team through strong leadership and mentoring. It gives me great satisfaction to achieve a common goal through the creative ideas we implement.
I believe I would make a great asset to your team. I will follow up with you in two weeks and look forward to having the opportunity for an interview to speak further about how I may contribute to ABC Ltd. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Bonus Cover letter Writing Tips
This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – proofread your cover letter format and make sure that there aren’t any spelling or grammatical errors. Remember to stick to one page and don’t make the cover letter all about you. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and convey how you can contribute to the company.
The verdict is in: cover letters are an important part of job applications. When done right, it may give you a significant leg up in the job market – and successfully help you land a suitable job.