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Join Isaiah as he discusses the importance of a cover letter and gives guidelines to write a cover letter that will convince employers to hire you
Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…
- First, Isaiah explains how a cover letter can make your job application stronger
- Next, Isaiah reviews the information you should include in your cover letter
- Finally, Isaiah presents the two main formats you can use for your cover letter
From This Week’s Show…
Why Is A Cover Letter Important
Including a cover letter in your job application will make you stand out from other job candidates. It’s also a great way to prepare your rationale for why you want the job in the first place and why you are the best candidate for the job.
The most important thing to bear in mind when sending a cover letter is that you should address it to an actual person. You want to avoid using vague, general salutations like “To Whom It May Concern” because such introductions indicate laziness, disinterest, and disrespect.
If you can’t even put forth the effort to find out who will be reading the cover letter, how will you ever convince them to hire you? Today, many job postings, especially those on LinkedIn, mention who is responsible for hiring for the position.
What Information You Should Include In Your Cover Letter
You cover letter should only be one page. If it’s longer, you must shorten it. You need to show respect for the hiring manager’s time by only including information that’s relevant to the job and using short, easy-to-read paragraphs with lots of white space around your text.
The first paragraph should mention three things: the person who referred you for the job, the position you are applying to, and the name of the company offering the position.
The second paragraph should detail how your experience matches the role you want, including what differentiates you from other job candidates. Here, focus on what makes you uniquely fitted for the role.
The third paragraph should move beyond your unique skills and experiences and explain how you and your personal working style will fit into the company’s culture. This paragraph is where you should showcase your knowledge of the company’s mission statement, corporate strategy, values, and, again, culture.
Which Format Is A Better Fit
There are only two cover letter templates you should consider: the standard business format and the newer, very popular T-format.
The standard business format includes the three written paragraphs we just discussed, as well as formal address and signature sections. The entire letter is left justified except for your name and contact details at the very top, which are right justified.
The T-format, on the other hand, completely replaces the second paragraph with a two-column table. In the left-hand column, you add the most important transferable and technical skills and requirements listed in the job description. In the right-hand column, you match these requirements with your qualifications by discussing the skills and experiences you have that exactly match the requirements, as well as the relevant skills and experiences you have, and the skills you have the ability to learn. The rest of the T-format is the same as the standard business.
If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.