What is a cover letter?
A cover letter, also known as a motivational letter, is an introduction of yourself attached as together with your resume. Such letters are commonly sent by jobseekers as a way of giving the recruiter a quick glance of their capabilities and interests.
Why Do I need a cover letter?
Recruiters and HR managers often receive hundreds of resumes a day. A well written cover letter is an effective way of differentiating yourself from the crowd. Being a letter, it puts a “voice” to your application, enabling the HR manager to better understand you and your skill set.
Here’s a template you can use to write your cover letter.
First Paragraph – Position Applied For
Mention the position you are applying for and where you saw the advertisement. HR Managers typically don’t have a lot of time reading your cover letter so it’s best you be direct and to the point:
I am writing in reference to the job open at your organisation. The attached resume will show that I have all the necessary skills to excel in the role.
Second Paragraph – Introduction
Introduce yourself briefly. Talk about how many years of experience you have in the target industry of the advertisement:
With over 12 years of experience in the IT industry, I am confident I can meet all the challenges open at your organisation. Most of my experiences were gained as a project manager. As such, I have developed strong leadership skills and an ability to forecast project requirements, a key skill required of the role open at your company.
Third Paragraph – Significant Achievements at Previous Roles
Mention 2 or 3 of your significant achievements from your previous roles. Ideally achievements which showcase skills relevant to the job you are applying for:
Previously, as Senior Developer for IBM, I led a team of 15 to develop custom modules for ERP clients of IBM. Significantly, I led a global rollout spanning 6 countries with a budget of over 15 million SGD in 2010. The project was completed on schedule and under budget, earning me a letter of recognition from senior management.
Fourth Paragraph – Strengths
Reiterate your strengths and mention any awards or honourable accolades you have received in the past
My tenacity and strong work ethic have been the keys to my success. My colleagues have consistently reflected favourably upon my people skills during our annual 360 degree feedback. I’m sure such skills will be greatly valued in a cohesive organisation like your’s.
Closing Paragraph – Thank You
Thank the HR manager for the time spent reading your cover letter. Mention that you intend to give them a call in the coming days regarding the status of your application
I do hope we can find a mutually beneficial partnership. Meanwhile, thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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