How to Compose a Professional Cover Letter

compose a professional cover letter: rosika.
compose a professional cover letter: rosika.

A cover letter is a short specific letter written to introduce and highlight your knowledge, experience and skills related to the role or job you are applying for. It is the valuable opportunity to make the first impression to the potential employers. In this article, I will explain about the qualities of a professional cover letter, what not to include in a cover letter and a sample structure of a cover letter that you can use next time when you apply for job.

What should a cover letter include?

Before you start writing a cover letter do some research about the company that you want to work for. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards them in your letter by specifying some of the interesting facts about the company that you found during your research. Showing that you have knowledge about the company implies that you are applying for a job with interest, and not just randomly.

Include your experiences, knowledge and skills so as to make it clear to the reader that you understand the job requirements and are suitable candidate. Don't forget to emphasize and relate your main achievements to company's requirement. (Refer to the selection criteria advertised for the job to find out what skills and experience your employers are looking for).

End your letter with a request to call you for the interview. Include your address, phone number or email address. See the structure of a cover letter at the end of this article.

Don'ts in cover letter:

  • Use abbreviated languages.
  • Use quote from company’s website (they already know that).
  • Rely on word processing application’s spelling and grammar checker to edit your letter.
  • Add information that is irrelevant to the current job.
  • Use "Dear sir/madam" or "To whom it may concern".

Quality of a professional cover letter:

  • Typed in a neat and consistent format.
  • Is one page only.
  • Have spaces between paragraphs.
  • Used A4 white neat page.
  • Have1-2 cm of space on left and right size of the page for reader to write notes.
  • Is addressed to the particular employer specifically (you can find name of the employer at the bottom of the selection criteria page. If it is not there, phone the institution to find out the name of the employer).
  • Reflects writer's enthusiasm and interest for the job.
  • Reflects writer's skills and experience related to the job.
  • Focuses on 3-4 selection criteria.
  • Provides examples (such as relevant experience, knowledge or skill related to the job).

Remember: If you don’t make enough effort to write an interesting cover letter, you may not be called for the interview, as the employer might think that you are not serious enough for the job.

Proof read your writing: rosika.
Proof read your writing: rosika.

A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Great Professional References

Read this article to find a great reference for your first job!

Before sending your cover letter:

Before sending your cover letter, make sure to check spelling, grammar and punctuation. The best way is to ask someone to read your final copy and to find out the mistakes. If that is not possible, read louder to yourself and listen for readability and grammatical errors. Don't forget to keep one copy with you so that you can use it as a reference when you go for an interview. Make sure you provide your full name and complete address.

Tips: If you have just finished or are about to finish at your school or university, you can have your cover letter reviewed by the professionals at your school or college. They will be happy to review it for you. Many schools and colleges also organize workshops on writing a cover letter. Attend them to learn more!

Structure of a cover letter:

Begining:

Your name
Address
Phone
Email

Date

Contact Person's Name
Contact Person's Position
Company's Name
Company's Address.

Re: Name of position or Application for……at…….

Dear Ms.........., (Avoid Dear Sir/Madam)

First paragraph
I am writing to you today to express my interest in ……. position advertised in ......... on ........ (date). I am impressed and attracted in………(what quality of the company attracted you, what opportunities you see in that company and, the main qualities you have that helps you to meet the company’s needs).

Second and/ or Third paragraph

Write about your knowledge (eg; what course you studied), experience (your real work or volunteer work experience, your achievement at university or at work, any particular rewards), skills (social and technical skills such as typing or designing skills) and other training or extra-curricular activities that you have attended that are relevant and suitable to the selection criteria mentioned in the job.

Fourth paragraph
Summarize your main achievements and experiences and relate your quality to their selection criteria.

Closing
Give them contact options and thank them for taking time to read your letter. Tell them that you have attached your resume and other important documents.

Yours sincerely,

Your signature

Print your name.

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Comments 20 comments

Brandym2012 profile image

Brandym2012 4 years ago from PA

Thank you for sharing this. Just last week I was in need of a cover letter and every time I went to a free web page, it required a fee in the end.


fibo777 profile image

fibo777 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing a detailed step by step guide on how to write a cover letter. I know where to search for the answer when I have to write one. Up for you.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

What a great resource this is! I should share it with my younger friends who are looking for work and not so familiar with sending these out.

When I was looking for work, I created my own custom template and customized it for each different company to which I applied. Once one gets the basic format down, it's easy to write these.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Great guide. I recently did this and it had been a while. I think that it is really important to make sure that the letter is personally addressed. Nice job.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@Brandym2012: Thank your for your comment. I should have written it last week and help you out...but never mind..hopefully you can use it next time :)


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@fibo777: Thank you for your comment. I used to struggle with writing cover letter before, but I have been using the structure I have presented above and have never looked for anywhere else since then...I am happy that you can use it next time as well.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@Simone Smith: Basic format is very important to begin with, and I exactly used to struggle with the format and I wrote this hub keeping that in mind :)...Thank you for your comment and sharing with your friends..


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@cardelean: Really appreciate your comment....Like you I really prefer the letter to be addressed personally and it is not difficult to find name this days anyway....


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

If you've never done this before, it can be really hard to figure out where to start. But you provide everything someone needs to get going. Nice work!!! Voted up.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

Thank you for your comment and vote....I really tried to provide the sample so as it can help with structuring the letter and guide on how to start straightaway...


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Love the example format you laid out, wonderful, thanks!


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@Ruby H Rose: Thank you for your comment...I am glad that you liked it!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Good advice here for preparing a cover letter.


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Considering the competition for work these days, you need that cover letter to stand out. I've been retired so long that I am clueless when it comes to cover letters. Useful guideline for anyone wanting to get ahead and rise about the pack.


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@PegCole17: Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you liked it!


rosika profile image

rosika 4 years ago Author

@Arlene V. Poma: Yes I know! writing cover letter when you haven't written one for a while can be quite of a struggle. I wrote this one just to make it a bit easier to someone in need. I am glad that you found it useful! Thank you for your comment!


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 4 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

A good idea- most of us freeze at the sight of a cover letter- how to demonstrate ourselves in one sheet!

Great ideas, especially don't rely on the spell checker, read the letter and ask others to read it.

Voted up!


Kumar 4 years ago

Thank you Rosika, It was highly needed at this point of job search. Thanks a lot


jerry 4 years ago

Tips: If you have just finished or is (ARE, not IS) about to finish (AT) your school or university, you can make (HAVE, not MAKE) your cover letter reviewed by the professionals at your school or college. They will be happy to review it for you. Many schools and colleges also organize workshop(S) on writing a cover letter. Attend them to learn more!


thebestseo profile image

thebestseo 3 years ago from Kathmandnu, Nepal

Wow ! really nice ideas. thank you for sharing this best ideas. i love your post.

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