In our previous article Cover Letter – All You Need To Know, we just explained what a cover letter is, the ideal format of a cover letter, and how to write a good cover letter. If you have read that article, now you are ready to write your first cover letter. In this article, we offer you some suggestions that you can use as a guide when you start writing your first cover letter.
The main difference of a cover letter than a CV is that the former is a more personal text that is telling the reader about your personality and what makes you who you are. It is not an autobiography, but it is a summary of yourself that should include important information about you. Your employer is not interested in your psychological background, rather is interested in some facts about you to decide whether to hire you or not to hire you. That’s why you should emphasise only the most relevant topics about yourself in your cover letter. A cover letter is both more and less than a CV in terms of content.
You can think of a good cover letter as a supplementary text that makes you look better in the eyes of the company. With the help of your cover letter, you can feature your desirable qualities and eventually get an edge over other applicants who are also applying for the same job position. However, you should omit arrogant and exaggerative language and stick to the truth.
What should you write in your cover letter?
First, you can state your personal characteristics that are not included in your CV. For example, you can state that you are able to motivate yourself easily and that you are a detail-oriented person. Then you might need to back these up with some examples. If you just wrote that you are a highly motivated employee, you can back it up by saying that you were the desired person in your last workplace when there were tasks that required teamwork.
Second, you can elaborate on your skills. For instance, you don’t need to rewrite that you have a driver’s license, if you already indicated it on your CV. But if you are applying for a driver position, it might be wise to indicate the type of your driver’s license or to tell how many years you have been driving. In addition to your basic skills and qualifications, add some extra skills that you have such as great communication skills. Make sure that you support what you say with at least one evidence.
Third, you should definitely talk about your experience, if any, in the job position you are applying for. Also mention your job performance and the positive feedback you have received during your previous employments. If you convince the reader that you have decent experience, this will be a huge plus point.
How can you start writing your cover letter?
Ask and answer questions such as:
“Who am I? What do I want to achieve in my career?”
“What skills and qualifications do I possess that will help me succeed in this job position?”
“What do I want to gain from this job position?”
If you cannot decide where to start, you can start by these above.
Another advice that we can give is to read it out loud while you are writing your cover letter. Does it sound good? If you were the hiring manager, would you be impressed? If your answer is “No”, it is time to revise your text.
If you need to look at some cover letter examples, you can read our article titled Good Cover Letter Examples. There, you will find multiple texts that are written by job applicants who are making applications for different popular job positions in companies across Australia.