How to write a cover letter for your dream job

Regardless of the situation you are in – whether you’ve decided on what your dream job will be or if you are more open in what you do but fancy a career change – you should know that your cover letter is just as important as your CV. You might be thinking that, after spending hours perfecting your CV, it feels pointless to transfer all the same detail to a letter – which is exactly why you shouldn’t do this.

You should aim to pick out the most relevant of your skills depending on the job you’re applying for and zoom in on them. Yes – that means tailoring each one depending on the job you’re applying for. The skills mentioned in the job description will be valued to the employer. Some recruiters or companies may receive hundreds of applications a day, so if your cover letter mentions the right things, you’ll stand out from the crowd – you really cannot afford to leave it out.

Writing a cover letter can be quite overwhelming as there can be a lot to remember – this guide will help you get started and land your dream job!

Research, research, research!

Research is a vital part of many different aspects of job hunting, so before you jump in and start writing your winning cover letter, you need to make sure you’ve done enough to research.

Some really important things you should find out before applying for the job are:

  • Who you are sending the letter to – who is the hiring manager? Do some digging to find this out if you need to.
  • What skills and experience requirements they have included in the job description – make sure you touch on these where you can
  • The company – general information such as turnover, where their offices are, exactly what they do
  • Their competitors – where do they fare in terms of market position?
  • The sector of the company – what’s been in the news lately, any notable trends or news?
  • If you can find out the company’s aims, this would stand you in great stead. You can show you believe in their values and want to contribute to their success.

By building up knowledge of the company you’re applying to and the industry in general, it will help you to make each application bespoke and demonstrate your passion.

What format should you follow?

The basic format for a cover letter is just like that of a normal letter – even though nowadays, there tend to be no hard copies and the application process is online or via email. In the right-hand corner, put your address and contact details. It’s probably worth noting that your email address should be sensible – your name, underscores/dashes and numbers usually work best. Steer away from using anything unprofessional. On the left-hand side, including the contact details and address of the company with the date further down the left-hand side. 

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! As mentioned, you should make each cover letter tailored to each job role or company. 

In your cover letter you need to address:

  • The position you’re applying for and why it interests you
  • Any relevant experience and skills you have to the position
  • How your skills and experience will be of benefit
  • An interview – request to meet in person to discuss your suitability.

Sending your letter online

99.999% of job applications will require your job application and CV to be sent to them via email or online – unless you have already sent your CV over (see recruitment agencies Wolverhampton), in which case they will likely do this for you. You may even be on various job boards online, and within these, you can usually save various cover letters and CVs within their system for easy applying – although the advice is still to make each application as tailor-made as you can.

Should you need to send your cover letter as an attachment, make sure you save it as a PDF and attach it to the email as you would any other document. If you need to send the cover letter as the actual email itself, attaching your CV, you can take a slightly different approach. The recommended format for the subject line could be something like “Application for [insert job here] – [insert your name here]”. Remember, the employer could be inundated with applications, so if everyone’s subject read ‘application’ it could make it hard for them to see easily.

If at any point you were given a reference number, include that in the subject line as well. When it comes to the body of the email, the paragraphs can be the same as if you were writing a normal letter, but just remove the addresses, date and signature – as these are obvious. 

How long should your cover letter be?

Ensure to keep your cover letter to no longer than a single A4 page. If you have a lot of relevant experience, this can be difficult – but remember, your CV will include that so keep it as short and sweet as you can. It needs to be an easy read!

Customizing each cover letter

First things first – avoid any generic phrases that are commonly seen in job applications. It can seem like a more straightforward way of doing things, but taking the time to make each one personal will set you apart. It shows you’ve read and digested the job description and keep things relevant, meaning your suitability will shine through.

As mentioned earlier, try to find the name of the hiring manager – if you really can’t, start with Dear Sir/Madam, but also be sure to sign off your letter with “yours faithfully” if you don’t know the manager’s name.

Read over the job description and pick out your skills. It may help to highlight them. Think of real-life examples to back up these skills! Go back over the research you’ve done and make sure you refer back to things you’ve learned about the company, mention any specific campaigns you’ve enjoyed – this shows your genuine interest in the role.

I’ve found my dream company – but they don’t seem to be hiring at the moment. What do I do?

It is still worth writing to the company anyway to show you are interested in a job. Address the letter as before, but ensure you ask about any upcoming vacancies they might have.

Good luck!

sudarsan

Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.