According to the experts, a cover letter needs to be well researched and tailored right according to the job.

There isn’t a doubt that the cover letters are your first chance to stand out to your potential employer. People usually find it really hard to write cover letters just because there’s no clear-cut formula to do so. However, there are certainly some pointers that could help you writing a remarkable cover letter.

You must always remember that the key purpose of a cover letter is to draw attention to your CV, which explains all your qualifications and experiences. So, in a couple of short and to-the-point paragraphs, you need to show your genuine interest in the role as well as your compatibility with it.

Can I write a generic cover letter and send it to all employers?

To make sure that you hit all the right notes with your cover letter, tailor it according to each job you apply on. It must never feel like a one size fits all job application that has been sent out to everyone otherwise your chances of getting shortlisted will be greatly reduced.

“We love to see the covering letters where applicants have made a real effort to connect with us, show that they understand a bit about us and therefore why we would be a particularly good match for each other” says Muneeb Asif, Human Resources Manager at Naseeb Networks Inc.

What are the necessary things to include in my cover letter?

Before you start writing the cover letter, it’s important that you research the company and align your skills and experience with its needs.

In terms of what should actually go in the letter, the advice can vary, but essentially you should explain why you have applied for that job, what appeals you in that role and why you would love to work for that organization – but make sure you don’t repeat the same on your CV.

A cover letter must explain how you meet the employer’s needs; it’s not about you, so don’t overuse “I”.

How long should my cover letter ideally be?

The hiring manager wouldn’t have enough time to dig deep into your cover letter so it should be kept short and succinct.

The right way to write a cover letter, I believe, is to sum it up in two paragraphs. The first one outlining your suitability for the role – including competency examples wherever possible and the second one reiterating your interest and fit for the role.

Whom should I address the cover letter to?

Ideally you should try to address the letter to a named person instead of starting with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. In case you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, try to know it otherwise go with the former.

What if the hiring manager or job ad don’t demand a cover letter?

If the job that you’re applying on doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, it’s always worth writing an email in the shape of a cover letter anyway. A cover letter is simply a note to introduce yourself and ensure that your CV gets opened, so in this case you should write your cover note in the email body.

Bringing it all together

A cover letter is a pitch. Imagine it as what you’d say to the hiring manager if you had the chance to hand over your CV and letter in person. Besides, you need to know what’s good about ‘YOU’. Make a list of your unique selling points and mention them artfully in your cover letter, letting them know about the amount of value you’ll add to their organization.

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