Often, recruiters will ask you to submit a cover letter as part of your application. Then, how do you write a cover letter for a resume? As a general rule, you should follow these steps:
- Open with what position you’re applying for
- Talk about why you’re a good fit for the position
- Mention why you want to work for the specific company
- Conclude with how the recruiter can reach you
What is a Cover Letter
A cover letter accompanies your resume and provides additional information about yourself. It is compelling because it allows you to communicate with a recruiter directly.
For example, if you went back to school and ended up having a gap on your resume, you can use the cover letter to explain that situation.
In general, cover letters allow you to be personal and intimate with your job-hunting situation. Therefore, you can truly show your personality in the cover letter. Some will even say a good cover letter can put you halfway closer to being hired.
Follow Best Practices or Use a Template
If you are having trouble starting a draft, try look up some cover letter examples online. Most online jobhunting sites have a resource section designed to help jobseekers to write a convincing cover letter.
As a best practice, your cover letter should include the following items:
- Your contact information
- The position you’re applying for
- Your general qualification, skills, and personal qualities
- Your best work experience
Remember not to be completely repeating your resume. Talk about the things you believe will help the recruiter make the hiring decision and highlight your strongest experience, skills, and personal traits.
The Popular Cover Letter Structure
What do you put in a cover letter?
First, start with a professional greeting. Then point out what position you’re applying for and where you found the opportunity. Next, talk about your latest experience and why you’re looking for a new role.
Now you can move to the main paragraphs in the cover letter, which feature your most impressive skills and qualifications. This is where you can get a little creative if you want.
In the final paragraph, conclude again by stating the position you want and why you’re a good fit. Also, always include a short sentence with your contact information.
Should you be Creative?
It’s always been debatable whether job seekers should be creative with their cover letters. You should generally determine your writing style according to the position you want, the recruiter’s demographics, and the company’s culture.
For example, a creative role at a small business working with people in their 20s and 30s will be more acceptive to an informal, personal cover letter. You can even do something fun with the final document, like adding an emoji.
However, an accounting role at a large corporation would be less appreciative of your creativity. In that case, it’s best to be safe and use a professional business tone.
Some Final Thoughts
Do you know how to write a cover letter for a resume now? We hope so! Keep in mind you’re writing a letter, so make sure you stay professional but approachable. Double-check to ensure you follow professional letter formatting and include a summary of who you are and why you are a good fit for the position.
While we recommend you customize your cover letter for each position, be careful with how creative you get. However, you definitely should use the cover letter as a chance to explain things you can’t put on your resume.