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Published: 2020/10/02 | Updated: 2020/10/02

How to Write a Cover Letter: The Ultimate Guide

At BuzzCV, we know that whether you actually enjoying writing cover letters or view them as more of a chore, it remains a fact that many hiring managers still rely on cover letters to form their first impression about a potential employee. From gauging your personality, communication skills, and attention to detail, your cover letter acts as a method of telling a potential employer who you are and what you’re all about. This means that the key to writing an effective cover letter is to follow instructions and communicate clearly while harnessing a compelling voice that gets an employer interested in you and what you have to offer. Today, BuzzCV will be highlighting how to write a cover letter, giving you the ultimate guide to crafting a cover letter that impresses your future boss, winning you the job position you’ve always wanted. Let’s get started!

What is a Cover Letter?

Before we get to how to write a cover letter in detail, it’s crucial that you have an understanding of what a cover letter is and what it’s used for. Put simply, a cover letter is an important tool that is used to assist you in introducing yourself to a potential employer. An effective cover letter should be both memorable and personal, describing who you are and giving an employer a good idea of who you are and what you bring to the table. A well-crafted cover letter goes over the information that is included in your resume and expands upon this information for the reader, guiding them through your career and life achievements. While your resume is intended to lay out the facts, your cover letter is meant to convey more of your unique personality. 

Remember, your cover letter acts as your first introduction to the person that may hire you and first impressions are everything. For this reason, it’s important that you know exactly how to craft a cover letter that describes you and represents you as a quality employee. It’s also important that you create a unique cover letter for each job that you are applying to. The format of your cover letter should also match that of the company and industry that you are applying to. 

Why is a Cover Letter Important?

So why is your cover letter so important? Put simply, your cover letter is more than just a formality or courtesy- it’s a valuable opportunity to impress potential employers. Research suggests that employers highly favor resumes that are accompanied by a cover letter, making it a critical component of your job-searching strategy. Your cover letter is also important because it is your opportunity to show the reader your immediate value, personality, that you are a unique fit for their company, and that you are enthusiastic about working for that company. This is why you should take writing your cover letter very seriously!

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter in Just 9 Steps!

Now that you understand what a cover letter is and why it’s fundamentally important, it’s time to learn how to write the perfect cover letter with 9 steps outlined by BuzzCV. We are experts when it comes to crafting the perfect cover letter and we have established these 9 steps to assist you in creating one that wins you your dream job! Let’s get started.

Step 1: List Your Name and Address

The first step to writing a cover letter is fairly simple. As with many standard business letters, you should include a few pieces of vital identifying information at the top of your cover letter. This includes your name and address. Some people may choose to center their name and address at the top of the page, mirroring their resume. That would look something like this:

John Smith

1234 Sesame Street, Apple Town, NY | (555) 123-1234 | jsmith@email.com

Otherwise, you may decide to simply list each individual piece of information on a new line oriented to the left-hand side of the page. That would look something like this:

John Smith

jsmith@email.com

1234 Sesame Street

Apple Town, NY

(555) 123-1234

Step 2: Include the Date

Next, you’ll want to include the date of the day that you are sending the letter. Remember, the date should be situated separately from your address and the recipient’s name and address (which we will include in Step 3).

Step 3: List the Recipient’s Name and Address

After including the date, it’s time to list the recipient’s name and information. You can likely find these details by looking at the company’s website or by locating this information in the job listing that you are applying to. The top part of your letter, after adding this, should look something like the following:

John Smith

jsmith@email.com

1234 Sesame Street

Apple Town, NY

(555) 123-1234

May 10, 20XX

John Doe

Sesame Street Inc.

4321 Sesame Street

Apple Town, NY

Step 4: Start With a Great Introduction

Next, we’ll include the first introduction to the reader. You should always start the introduction of your cover letter with something like “Dear” or “Hello”. This is your first greeting to your potential employer so ensure that it is short, sweet, and professional.

Step 5: Include an Opening Paragraph

With Step 5, we have our first chance to really wow your potential employer. Write an introductory paragraph that includes the position you are applying for. You should also include a well-written statement surrounding your enthusiasm in regards to both the job role and the company itself. This is your very first opportunity to make a great first impression within your cover letter so take it seriously!

Step 6: Include a Second Paragraph Detailing Your Background

Next, your cover letter’s second paragraph should include a brief overview of your background as is relevant to the position you are applying for. Here, it is important that you discuss some of your key achievements (again, making them relevant to the job that you are applying for), your job skills (click here for our article on What Skills to Put in a Resume), as well as specialties that make you a unique fit for this particular job position. Focus on one or two in order to keep this section organized and concise, and provide specific details about your previous success, including any measurable impacts you have made on previous companies. 

It’s a good idea to pay close attention to any keywords found in the job description of the job that you are applying for when organizing this section of your cover letter. Include those that you identify with in the body of your cover letter to make a good first impression. It’s a good idea to only include information about your most recent one or two professional experiences in this section of your cover letter.

Step 7: Include a Third Paragraph Further Describing Why You Are Uniquely Qualified

In the third paragraph of your cover letter, you should focus on another key achievement or skill that is relevant to the position that you are applying for. Instead of repeating details from your resume, expand on specific stories or anecdotes that display your fitness for the role. This section is your chance to go into a bit more detail and really highlight your personality so that the reader has an idea of what they can expect from you.

Step 8: Offer a Summary of Your Unique Qualifications

In the closing paragraph of your cover letter, you should offer a summary that recaps the reasons that you are applying for this particular job and why you would be the perfect fit. Keep this closing conclusion brief and explain that you look forward to hearing from the employer with the next steps in the process. 

Step 9: End With Your Signature

Finally, finish off your cover letter by signing your name in pen after typing out a closing salutation such as “Sincerely” or “All the best”. 

Using the steps outlined above, you will be able to write a cover letter that impresses any potential employer and gets you called in for a job interview in no time! Remember, use these steps to effectively outline why you are uniquely qualified for this position and let your unique personality shine through while remaining professional. 

Summary

In summary, it’s important to remember a few things when writing your cover letter, including the steps that you should follow in crafting the perfect cover letter:

  • Remember why a cover letter is important- it’s your opportunity to make a great first impression and explain why you are uniquely qualified for the position you are applying for!
  • List your name and address
  • Include the date
  • List the recipient’s name and address
  • Start with a great introduction
  • Include an opening paragraph
  • Include a second paragraph detailing your background
  • Include a third paragraph further describing why you are uniquely qualified
  • Offer a summary of your unique qualifications
  • End with your signature

Craft a Winning Cover Letter With BuzzCV!

Now that you know how to craft a winning cover letter, it’s time for some extra help in the process from BuzzCV! 

At BuzzCV, we offer a variety of cover letter templates that all but guarantee that you will land your dream job. Using our stunning cover letter templates and knowledge of how to create a cover letter and resume that shows off your skills and value as an employee, you have the power to get hired quicker than you could have ever expected! 

Check out our cover letter templates and register as a member for free today! As a member, you’ll have access to:

  • Free CV templates
  • Digital CV
  • Digital cover letter
  • Personality test
  • Job search
  • Customer support

Start on your cover letter using the steps outlined above and go above and beyond to impress potential employers with BuzzCV’s cover letter templates! You’ll land your dream job in no time.

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