Bridge Insights

A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Cover Letters

Jun 17, 2020

You have spent hours searching for your dream job and just came across a posting that matches your skillset perfectly. You have your resume ready to go, but you notice the application process requires a cover letter. The panic starts to set in; you are not a professional writer, but you need to showcase your skillset in the best way possible.

If you include these 6 components in your cover letter, you can land the perfect job.

1. The Header

At the top of your cover letter, you need to include a header. This header should be your contact information and should include:

  • Full Name
  • Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address
  • Date
[blockquotes color=”highlight” quote=”no”] A cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to the hiring manager and leave them wanting more.[/blockquotes]

2. The Introduction

It is important to address your letter to the hiring manager for the position. If you just use a generic, “Dear Sir/Madam” to open, it will not do the trick. You want your potential employer to know you are specifically interested in this role and are not sending out a generic letter to multiple companies.

This might require you to do some research. You can find the name of the hiring manager in places like the job description, company website, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.
Addressing the hiring manager directly shows you took the time to find the correct information and are serious about the role.

3. The Opening Paragraph

This is your chance to introduce yourself and grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements that are relevant to the role. The hiring managers are sifting through hundreds of applications, and they are not going to read every one cover to cover. You need to capture their attention quickly by emphasizing your personal value to the role and company. Open in a way that details why the job is exciting to you and what experience you have that will leave them wanting to read more.

[blockquotes color=”highlight” logo=”yes”]Looking for Open Positions?

4. The Second Paragraph

Explain why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Look up the job description and pick out the most important qualifications needed. Use your previous experience to demonstrate transferrable skills that match those qualifications. This is your chance to show the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the role!

5. The Third Paragraph

In your cover letter, it is important to showcase that not only are you a skill set match for the role, but you are also a cultural match for the company. Do some research on the company and find things that you like about their mission, products, and/or company. Hiring managers can see through the fluff, so make sure you are honest and provide concrete reasons for why you are applying for the role.

6. The Conclusion

Use the final paragraph of your cover letter to tie everything together. You need to wrap up any final points that will make the hiring manager want to hire you. Make sure you thank the hiring manager for taking the time to review your qualifications and finish with a call to action. This will leave a lasting impression and encourage the hiring manager to reach out to you.

Final Thoughts

 Writing a cover letter can seem daunting, but it is necessary because first impressions matter. This is your chance to sell yourself to the hiring manager and leave them wanting more. Using this step-by-step guide to writing cover letters, will be the first step you take to securing the job you are looking for.