How to write a cover letter to accompany your CV
Writing a cover letter to add to your CV is a must-do for serious job seekers. This one page document should introduce you to the company, let them know your intentions, and highlight your professional experience and background in relation to their specific needs.
This writing sample can make you stand out amongst others competing for the same position, and makes a statement that you’re serious about the job and willing to work for it from the very start. This article will address a three-part cover letter with concrete examples for illustration.
Writing your introduction
Start off your letter with a statement: "I am writing to apply for the Project Manager position advertised on Indeed." or "I’d like to express my interest in the Project Manager position available at your company." These two statements are direct and concise. A strong opening to your cover letter will set the tone for the whole piece and express your interest in the position immediately.
Prepare the HR Director or Hiring Manager for more detailed information about your background by summarising the most important parts in the introduction. Draw attention to your relevant experience and use examples to stand out: "I have over ten years of project management experience, and have overseen the development of major projects in excess of £300,000." This statement is factual and a great way of highlighting your years of experience through providing an example that quantifies your abilities.
End the introduction with your intentions and interest in the company. Make statements that showcase your interest in career advancement, and describe the characteristics that you think they will find desirable in the perfect candidate: "I am reliable, determined, and resourceful." Make sure the company is also aware of your enthusiasm and excitement to hear more about the opportunity.
Writing the body of your letter
This part of your cover letter should address your background in more detail and tell employers about your personality in your won words. Sample your career highlights and include information about your accomplishments, promotions, and special skills or competencies. Use the company's terminology as much as possible when you’re showing why your experience makes you the perfect candidate. This paragraph can include examples of how your positive attitude led to your success with a certain project, or write about how one of your best traits became a huge benefit to your former employer. Use the body of your cover letter to draw a connection between your background and the hiring needs of the employer. One or two paragraphs is sufficient.
"I believe that a positive attitude is the key to success. I approach all of my projects with a high level of enthusiasm and have spearheaded efforts that resulted in improved efficiency, and once found a solution to a construction problem that saved the company £40,000. My professional skills are transferable to the needs of your company in many ways including my ability to produce clear documentation for all projects, manage all phases of the development process, and complete the project with compliance to budget and timeline concerns."
This excerpt is descriptive and details your accomplishments while demonstrating your competency. Using examples of job skills that you excel at will let the company decide if you are a good fit. Always put your best foot forward and illuminate the characteristics the company strives to achieve.
Writing your conclusion
The end of your cover letter should reiterate your interest in the company and invite them to contact you for an interview. State your excitement to learn more about the position again, and state that you think you would make a good match. You have introduced yourself and touted your experience, sum up by asking them to consider you as a candidate for the position. "Please consider me an excellent candidate for the position." It's simple and straight-forward and asks them to take action. The whole letter should be one page long and end with saying thank you and using the word "Sincerely.... (First name) (Last Name)."
Your cover letter should remain friendly and professional and should convey your experience and background, and highlight your valuable skills. Make mention of the fact that you speak another language, are great at customer service, or have specialised knowledge that they would find helpful. Present yourself on paper with confidence, be direct, and illustrate your intelligence and desire for a professional career with the company.