A good cover letter has a few characteristics that should be familiar to everyone, who wants to succeed in cover letter writing. First and foremost, a cover letter should create good impression on the audience. In other words, it should not bring harm to its author. Second, it should serve as the demonstration of the skills and qualities that are relevant to the position offered in the advertisement. Third, it should assure the potential employer that you are a perfect fit for the required position. Surely, writing a good cover letter is a rather challenging thing to do since there are many different cover letter types. However, the following handout will provide you with the essential tips necessary for getting the desired outcome. We assure you that by following easy steps suggested by the current article, you will be able to create an impressive cover letter.
How to Write a Good Cover Letter?
First, you need to have a clear plan. Begin your preparation from careful learning of the information about the company and the department offering the position. Undoubtedly, there is the company`s website with the information that can be easily accessed. We assure you that reading this information, you will be able to find out what kind of a person they are looking for. If you believe that you are a perfect fit for this position, then go ahead!
Once you know what company, department and specific position interests you, try to define what specific skills, competencies, or qualifications are needed to succeed in this position. Think if you possess these qualities and what can be acquired in the process of practice. If you find it difficult to pass this step successfully, we recommend you to think about your previous accomplishments, future research plans, or the projects in which you participated. In addition, you should think what evidence can prove that your background or previous experience is relevant to the current position.;
When learning the information about the company, ask yourself the following questions:
- How well do my interests and career goals match those mentioned in the advertisement?
- Will my presence make the work of the department better?
- How well my skills will complement the work of the current faculty?
When you are done with the prewriting stage, let the writing stage begin!
When drafting your cover letter, keep in mind that your previous accomplishments and future career plans should constitute its body. For instance, when you apply for a teaching position in a certain institute, you should emphasize on your teaching experiences, goals, and personal teaching philosophy, as well as mention the sustainability of the research program to the teaching-focused environment.
Analyzing the process of cover letter writing, Stansbury admits, “The applicant should clearly outline the plans for teaching and research goals.” Also, if you want to reach success with your cover letter, be sure to mention at least three examples of specific research projects and innovative teaching plans. As you customize your letter to different job positions, these examples should change from one cover letter to another.
What to Include in a Cover Letter?
When you`re done with the draft of the main body mentioning the relevant achievements and experiences, it is time to think about a good opening of your letter. In order to succeed with the whole cover letter, your introduction should be eye-catching and attention grabbing. This technique is also called “having a handle.” Your handle is what you offer in turn for the good job position offered by the company. An opening paragraph should take more than just one sentence. At the same time, it should be short and meaningful. After you`ve managed to catch the reader`s attention with the important information, proceed with the information about your qualifications. Your essay should have a sharp focus to allow your reader to keep the interest during the whole process of reading.
When writing the final sentences, keep in mind that, most probably, these sentences will remain in the memory of the employer. Thus, the closing sentences should introduce you as a confident, decisive, and assertive individual.
Editing stage is also a very important stage of cover letter writing. When your cover letter is written, set it aside for a day or at least several hours, and then read it for several times to make sure your thoughts are clear and organized in the proper manner. Also, make sure your qualities and skills mentioned in the cover letter are relevant. For this purpose, read the advertisement carefully once again. We assure you that in most cases, the committee members will not bother themselves to explain to you what is wrong with your cover letter. They will just quickly move to another application. Therefore, if you want to make a good impression on them, make sure the letter is perfect.
Finally, many professionals recommend having someone else to read the letter and look at it with fresh eyes. Very often, getting an opinion from other people about the paper can help understand what is wrong with it and, thus, fix all mistakes.
Cover Letter Types
There are three major types of cover letter and each one serves for specific purposes. All of them have one common purpose – to introduce who you are and show what skills, qualifications, and competencies you have. However, at the same time, a cover letter is not a simple reiteration of your resume. To put it simply, it should provide a clear interpretation of the information given in the resume.
The first of cover letter types is called an application cover letter. This cover letter usually responds to a specific job position that was advertised and recommended to the individual. As well as any other cover letter, it should be written in a clear and concise manner and have proper formatting including the proper salutation and closing phrases. You have to spend enough time learning the information about the job position and make sure you write a cover letter that fits this position. The essential purpose of this document is to “sell” your skills and qualifications to your potential employer.
The second type is called a prospecting letter. This type of letter aims to inquire if there is any opening position you could take with your current skills and qualifications. When you know that the company is hiring but you are not sure what specialist is needed exactly, you need to write a prospecting letter. Sometimes, it is called a letter of interest as it is informing the potential employer that you are interested in the work with this company. In order to write a good prospecting letter, you need to learn the information about the company and guess what specialist they are trying to find.
The final one of three cover letter types, which is called a networking letter, can function as a letter of introduction of the individual or the referral letter. This letter aims to introduce you as a specialist based on the experience you received on your previous work. These letters can help you find the people seeking collaboration with the professionals like you. Also, they can help you whenever you`re seeking professional assistance with completing the particular project.
In conclusion, we assure you that writing a cover letter is not that difficult. Just be attentive and follow the simple steps discussed in our article and you will be able to reach the desired outcome.