When applying for a new job you will need to send 2 things. Your resume/CV and your cover letter. In this blog we will break down the layout of an ideal cover letter, show a model example and give some great top tips.
The layout of your cover letter should start with the person you are addressing. Such as Dear [name].
Then for your first paragraph you should write about why you are applying for this job, why you are interested in this field of work and how you can help the company with your skills. Make sure that you sound excited and eager to work with this company, without going overboard.
After your first paragraph you’re next two or three paragraphs should be focused around your relevant previous employment, skills you have obtained and experiences you have gone through while relating back to how this is helpful in making you the best candidate for the job.
Finally is your closing paragraph. Usually closing paragraphs in cover letters are very generic as most will simply thank the reader/employer for their time and that they look forward to hearing from them. However if you personalize this closing paragraph in the same way that you have done for the rest of your cover letter it can really make you stand out. One way to do this can be to address a potential concern the employer may have. For instance if you are applying for this new job because you are moving city you can mention this here. Or you can end on a strong note by reinforcing that your skills, knowledge and experience have made you perfect for the job.
End the letter with Kind regards [your name]
Example Cover Letter –
I am interested in the author’s assistant position at Acme Company, as advertised on LinkedIn. I am currently employed as legislative director for Assemblywoman Nora Kiel, Chairperson of the NYS Assembly. I believe that the skills and experiences I have gained at this position make me an ideal candidate for the job of author’s assistant.
As legislative director, I have developed strong writing and editing skills. For example, one of my main duties is to prepare Assemblywoman Nora Kiel’s personal legislation, which deals with issues related to her position as Senior Member of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee.
This duty requires meticulous writing and editing skills, and an ability to convey complex legal ideas clearly. I have prepared dozens of pieces of legislation and received praise for the clarity of my writing.
I have also gained extensive experience in legal and policy research – fields that you state the author’s assistant must be familiar with. My experience in the NYS Assembly has afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with the consolidated and unconsolidated laws of the State of New York. In particular, through my work with Assemblywoman Nora Kiel I have become heavily involved in the current welfare and Medicaid reform movement. I am always eager to learn more about state legislation, reading up on these topics on my own time to become more knowledgeable. I would love to bring this passion for policy and law to your company.
I am confident that my experience in the Legislature and my research and writing skills qualify me for consideration. If you would like, I can provide you with current samples of my work. I have also enclosed my resume. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.
Top Tips –
- When writing about your previous employment history, the skills you have learnt and your experiences, make sure you can relate them to the job and explain how it will help.
- For every cover letter you make start it fresh so that it is fully suited to the job you are applying for.
- Try not to regurgitate what is already on your resume.
- Never draw attention to your weaknesses with phrases like ‘Despite my limited experience in…’.
- Consider visiting the company’s website and social media pages so that you can get a good understanding about them. Enabling you to match the tone of the letter to the company’s tone.
- Try to keep your letter under one page.
- If you don’t know who your cover letter is going to research who the hiring manager is and address it to them. This will really make you stand out. If you can’t find a name then use ‘dear hiring manager’.
- Send your letter as a pdf to make it easy for the employer to view.
Final Note –
Thank you for reading. Hopefully this has given you some helpful advice on how to make your best Cover Letter and subsequently gets you an interview or job.