What goes in a good cover letter template?

Looking for a new job is exciting but it can also be confidence knocking and frustrating. This is because you might be asked to produce proof of your employability in the form of written evidence that you haven’t quite mastered. For instance, the cover letter. In some cases, potential applicants assume that this is merely a few unimportant lines that they need to write because the cv is the important document and then they wonder why they don’t get an interview call. Other applicants simply reiterate their cv in full and they can’t understand why they don’t get invited to take the application further either. The harsh reality is that if you send in a cover letter that is simply a few lines that don’t really sell you as an employee, the recruiter will assume that you haven’t got the gumption to do the job, whatever it is. Similarly, if you simply paraphrase everything in your cv, the recruiters will assume that you can’t distinguish between a cover letter and a cv and so you will not be adept in the workplace.

 

If reading this is causing you to panic, you must not because having a good cover letter template can eradicate these problems easily. Understanding how a cover letter works and what you need to put into it is a skill that can be used throughout your career. In this article you will learn basically what goes into a cover letter template. This will include:

Let’s start with the basics. There is an old saying that states that first impressions last. There is also ‘first impressions count’. This means that your cover letter is what the recruiter will notice about in the beginning. We have already decided that if it is not suitable the first impression will also be the last impression. However, we can dissect this thought even further by assuming that the format of your cover letter is what will be digested by your future employer even before they begin to read your words. Therefore, it is essential that you do not send in anything that is less than a formally written letter even if you are applying by email. You should always start your letter off with:

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You can use that template for every job that you apply for.

The first paragraph of your cover letter should be concise. You are merely explaining the exact position that you are applying for. Don’t simply state that you are applying for a job in that department because if it is a large company they will not know which position you want. Furthermore, this will make you appear careless and your application will probably be rejected.

The only other detail that you should put in your opening paragraph is where you saw the advertisement for the job or if a contact advised you of the position. Although it is tempting to throw in lots of details right at the beginning, stay disciplined. Writing a cover letter is like writing a poem. Every word has to work and it has to be in exactly the right order. For instance, let’s imagine that you have spotted an advertisement with a private children’s drama school for a Shakespeare tutor. you could write:

Please consider me for the role of Shakespeare tutor in your junior department. I noticed the post advertised in the Arts News which I subscribe to.

The trick with this paragraph is to take the job criteria and match it up with your own personal skills and qualifications. When you first try this, you may get frustrated and find that you are having trouble doing it. However, if you persevere, you may find that your cover letter writing skills have improved immensely. Let’s imagine that the post requires:

  • Teaching certificate.
  • Teaching experience with children of primary school age.
  • Knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays.
  • Knowledge of LAMDA exams.
  • Be able to work weekends and school holidays.

This is the first paragraph that is going to truly make the recruiters interested so it has to be exactly right. For instance:

Being PGCE qualified has allowed me to teach English at Black Hole Primary School for five years. During my period there I produced ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with my year 6 students. While studying for my honours degree in Literature, I developed a special interest in Shakespeare and so did my dissertation on getting children of primary school age to understand The Bard. Although my son, did all his LAMDA exams through his drama class, I privately tutored him through all the stages until he achieved his gold medal. This has given me a great insight into how LAMDA works. I am able to work weekends and school holidays.

Can you see how all of the requirements have been mentioned but instead of saying ‘I have knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays, the applicant has demonstrated specifically what experience and skills that she has. If she simply said that she had knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays, it is vague and will not really register deeply with the recruiter. However, if you can imagine that the person reading this runs a children’s drama company and the applicant states the actual plays that she produced, it will get the recruiter’s mind ticking over and visualizing how the applicant could fit in with their company.

When you are practising this part of your cover letter, don’t simply accept the first way that you write the paragraph. Could you tighten it up? Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with the format. Try it in bullet points too. There are generic cover letter templates for this paragraph but in, most cases, they are not specific enough. If you are serious about writing a dazzling cover letter, you have to get this paragraph specific to both the job that you are applying for and yourself.

There is often a basic misunderstanding when people are applying for jobs. For some reason, they overlook the fact that the only reason that the company is seeking an applicant is that they hope the applicant will improve the company. If that sounds harsh, it is true, particularly in these times where most businesses and institutions now have to make a profit. Therefore, you have to promote yourself in this manner. Again, you need to use practical examples to specifically demonstrate your worth. For instance, it is no use stating that you have driven sales up with your present company if you are applying for a job in sales. The recruiter will merely think that it can’t be by much or else you would have mentioned the quantity. If that appears cynical, it is because a recruiter has to get through so many job applications, they quickly get rid of those that don’t seem so appealing. Let’s return to our Shakespeare tutor example. For instance:

It has been said by both the headmistress of the school that I am employed at and the parents of my year 6 students that I have the ability both to teach children how to understand Shakespeare and also to make it an enjoyable part of their curriculum. I enclose a copy of the letter written by my headmistress. In it she states that in the thirty years that she has been at the school, she has never before witnessed children embracing Shakespeare in the manner that they have since I’ve been teaching them.

Can you see how the improvement to the school that the applicant has been working at is relevant to the job that she is applying for?

If you wished to use a template for this paragraph, you would simply state how you have improved sales by a certain percentage or driven an XX number of visits to the company’s website.

Writing a cover letter is quite simply a sales pitch. Therefore, your last paragraph, is simply that final attempt to hook the recruiter in. Basically, you are going to state again how you are perfect for the company and that you hope to get an interview with them. For instance:

I am confident that I can bring the same enthusiasm for Shakespeare to your students as I have to the children I have recently been working with. I am certain that together we would be able to develop the Shakespeare side of the drama school and help the students to pass their examinations and develop their skills.

At this point, you can start to breathe again. All you have to do is thank the recruiter for their time and attention and suggest that you look forward to meeting them to take your application further. For instance:

Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss my application with you further.

All you have to do then is write ‘yours sincerely’. However, if you did not have the name of the person that you were writing to, you need to write ‘yours faithfully’.

Once you have written your cover letter, don’t be in a rush to send it off immediately. The reason for this is that it is imperative that you check it carefully. You need to check that:

  • You have spelled the recruiter’s name and the company name right.
  • That you have not made any wild claims that you cannot fulfil. It can be tempting when applying for the perfect job to pump yourself up a bit. However, if you do it too much, you may put the recruiter off straight away or worse still, they might believe you. Trying to explain that you cannot actually do what you said you could might mean the end of your career with that company.
  • Check that you have made sure that you have made it clear that you fit the job requirements perfectly.
  • Look for spelling errors. It may not seem like a big deal but when recruiters have hundreds of applicants, they are looking for reasons to reject. Do not give them any.
  • Check for grammatical errors too. If you are applying for a job that deals with the public and you make a lot of grammatical errors, the recruiter will assume that you do the same with your speech. It could mean rejection, don’t take the chance.
  • Take a good look at how you have formatted your cover letter. If you are applying for a job in design and all the words are cramped at the top of the paper, the recruiter will imagine that you haven’t got the eye for design. Do not give them any excuse to reject you.

Hopefully, after reading this article you will understand what goes into a good cover letter template. However, letter templates can be useful when you are writing about something that is not very important but when it comes to getting that important job, they may not be as original and specific as you need them to be. The reason for this is that your cover letter probably gets about ten seconds scanning time before it is accepted or rejected. If a particular job is of the utmost importance to you then your cover letter simply has to be the best that it can be. In fact, you may need help.

We offer a wide range of writing services. Our professional writers understand exactly what needs to go into the specific cover letters for every profession and occupation. Furthermore, if you have problems like no experience or few qualifications, our writers understand how to highlight your strengths and skills. If you truly want that special job, you should gift yourself a tailor written cover letter for it. Get in touch with us and see what we can do for you. We also offer:

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