How to Write a Job-Winning Resume | Guide for All Job Seekers in 2023
Learn how to write a resume that will get you your dream job.
A cover letter is a one-page document for a job application that:
Sometimes the cover letter is required, but usually it is optional. Still, we strongly recommend including a cover letter with every resume. This increases your chances of getting a positive response because it allows you to be unique among candidates with similar resumes.
Knowing how to write a cover letter can be much easier if you are working with a sample.
Before writing yourcover letter, do some preparation first. Follow these steps to make the cover letter writing process faster and easier.
Have your resume on hand. A cover letter should complement, not repeat your resume. Keep your resume nearby to ensure that you are not repeating its information in your letter. Use your cover letter to expand skills on your resume, especially those that could use narrative, like how you achieved record-breaking sales.
Research the company. Whether you’ve been interested for a while or just learned about the company through a job posting, always research the company before writing your cover letter. Visit their website, search for any news, and ask around. Beyond what they do, get an idea of their work culture and use that to set the tone of your letter.
Keep the job posting accessible. Don’t close that job ad tab yet. In it, you’ll find keywords of what the company is looking for in a candidate. Enthusiastic, teamwork, communication and data-driven are examples of keywords in a job ad that you could include in your cover letter.
Compile a list of skills that go hand in hand with the job description. Now that you have your resume and the job post, make a list of skills you could bring to this position, whether soft skills, like communication or teamwork, or hard skills, like marketing, writing and sales. If you need ideas on what skills you could add, look at our resume skills guide.
Get inspired with cover letter examples. Check out our cover letter examplesto get a better idea of how a cover letter should look and what it should include.
Writing a cover letter can be broken down into six simple steps. Each step builds off the previous one to create a document that is structured and engaging.
Your cover letter should match the design of your resume. This continuity is important in establishing your presence as a candidate.
At the same time, the overall appearance of your cover letter needs to be professional, interesting, and easy to read. It also needs to be scannable by applicant tracking systems (ATS).
A cover letter template can help you solve all of these problems!
With a cover letter template, you can:
Your contact information will go in the header of your cover letter. This header should match your resume’s contact information heading for a more professional impact.
Your contact information includes:
Addressing the reader of a cover letter requires two parts:
Address the reader directly by name if possible. This creates a bigger impact on the reader and helps you stand out.
If the job description does not provide a contact, look up the company’s website, LinkedIn or call the company and politely ask if they will provide you with a name.
If you still don’t know, use the company’s address with a good nondescript salutation. Avoid the outdated cliche “To whom it may concern,” as well as informal language.
In the end, addressing the reader will follow this format:
[Your Name and Title Here. or Recruiter’s Name]
[Hiring Manager’s or Recruiter’s Job Title]
After your greeting comes the introduction paragraph of your cover letter. This paragraph acts as your pitch that intrigues the reader to learn more about you.
There are several ways you can introduce yourself in a cover letter:
Here is an example of a good introduction paragraph for a cover letter:
Having worked with ABC Inc. many times in the past, I was excited to discover there is an opening for a new sales manager. With my current experience as an assistant sales manager in a similar field, including a recent campaign that surpassed our sales target by 110%, I know my values and skills can help ABC Inc. reach new heights of success.
Depending on your level of experience, you may write one to two paragraphs in the body of your cover that accomplishes the following:
It’s important to avoid restating your resume in your cover letter. Instead, use this as an opportunity to really showcase your enthusiasm, your qualifications and your professional qualities.
The reader of your cover letter, even if they just skim it, should be able to quickly assess the type of employee you are and what value you can bring.
Consider the example below:
As assistant sales manager at XYZ Co., I have developed a passion for leading and motivating teams to exceed sales targets. In our most recent sales campaign, my ability to build and maintain strong client relationships helped XYZ Co. recover from the entrance of a new competitor in our market. Additionally, my analytical skills allowed me to identify new opportunities with data-driven decisions which resulted in adding 30 new clients to our register.
As a Sales Manager at ABC, Inc., my excitement for sales and knowledge of improving client relationships will bring success to the entire company. I deeply share ABC’s mission to strive for excellence every day in our competitive industry.
Wrap up your cover letter with a closing statement that:
This is a short paragraph that will neatly sum up everything you have said while also graciously moving things forward. This shows you are serious about the position, bring value to the company, and are determined to achieve excellence.
Here is an example of how to conclude your cover letter:
I would happily discuss more about my past sales experience at a later time and date. ABC Inc. is at the forefront of industry trends and it would be my pleasure to contribute to its success. Thank you for your time.
[First and last name]
Writing a good cover letter means being mindful of several best practices:
Tailor your cover letter specifically to the job you are applying for.
Use keywords from the job description to stand out with the ATS and reader.
Use the same font, margins, and template as your resume.
Font typeface should be professional, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
Use one-inch margins and single or 1.15 spacings.
Keep your language clear and concise.
Tell a story that demonstrates your value, skills, and achievements.
Keep your cover letter between 250 and 400 words.
The salutation "To whom it may concern," is considered outdated and too formal by most recruiters and hiring managers.
Still not quite sure how to write your cover letter? Let us save you valuable time and energy with our cover letter builder. Designed by career experts, our prompts and automated suggestions help you write the best cover letter possible in a matter of minutes. One of our users has this to say:
"Easy to use website to assist in developing a comprehensive resume. Was hired!"
It is strongly recommended that you use a cover letter for every job application. A cover letter is your best chance to be unique among candidates. You have the opportunity to showcase not only your qualifications but your personality and passion for the job.
A cover letter should clearly communicate that you are the best candidate because you have the skills, experience, and enthusiasm to bring value to the position. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know why they should hire you over any other applicant.
Make the choice easy for them. They should hire you because you will bring the most success to the company.
A cover letter should be between 250 and 400 words. Refrain from writing too much in a cover letter. The reader is not going to spend much time on your letter.
Some things you may want to share or explain further can be saved for a potential interview. The cover letter should only be a preview of what you can offer. If you have engaged the reader properly, they will want to learn more about you.
Use a combination of engaging storytelling layered with quantifiable data that highlights your skills and achievements. This makes it easier for the reader to understand what your capabilities are and what you could potentially bring to the position.
The business letter format is the only format for cover letters. Its structure should include your contact information and the recipient’s information at the top left, followed by a salutation or greeting, an introductory paragraph, a body paragraph where you include the bulk of your skills and experience and a closing paragraph. Visit our cover letter formats page to learn more.
Absolutely. A cover letter template is simply a design that elevates your letter and draws the reader's attention. To find a template that fits your style, browse our collection of cover letter styles.
A cover Letter Builder is a tool that helps you write a stellar job application letter. You must add information regarding your career, skills, and experience. Next, select a writing style that works best for you. Our builder makes it quick and easy to write the letter that will get you noticed by recruiters.
Using a cover letter builder will reduce the time spent writing and formatting your job application letter and help achieve the professional quality expected by hiring managers and recruiters. The builder helps you accomplish this in a matter of minutes.