Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the name of God,

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog.

In this series, I’m going to explain inside out of my immigration story, plan and process. I hope it helps people or makes them think again.

In this episode, we are going to look at what is a Cover Letter, why it is useful, how I wrote one and how we can make it better. Let’s get down to business.

What is a Cover Letter?

Generally, Cover Letter is a short essay/file that you can attach as an extra document to your job application to talk about yourself. Wait a second, wasn’t this the purpose of the Resume? Didn’t we say everything about you goes into Resume?

The Cover Letter and resume are different. In resume, you only present yourself and your career formally to the recruiter, but in a Cover Letter, you talk about why are you a good fit and what makes you special among others in a friendly manner. So your resume just introduces who you are but if you have something that could stand out for that company can go into the Cover Letter.

Is Cover Letter important?

So the answer in a Nuttshell is yes and no!

Cover Letter is not important because:

  1. My first reason is it works as an add-on so HR/recruiter would not even look at it if they just don’t feel like it!. This is even worse if you talk to a person other than HR/recruiter.
  2. You can find companies that don’t allow you to upload one quite easily.
  3. It’s extra work. Especially, because you have to write a unique (almost) new one for every application.

Cover Letter is important because:

  1. You can catch a good eye much easier.
  2. There is no formalities nor template to worry about.
  3. Your resume is not very shiny or you did not have enough space for everything.
  4. You know they will hire you if you could tell this sentence to them in person!

At the beginning with the help of a few feedback, I figured most people are reading my Cover Letters. So I sat down and wrote way too many letters. This post is the result of my tries and learnings along the way.

Template

I don’t really have a template for my Cover Letters. I usually find job-seeking websites don’t allow me to upload a PDF and thus I have to copy and paste my letter. So usually the TextBox for Cover Letter does not allow any formatting.

How to write a Cover Letter?

I might have given a few clues on how to do it already. Now let’s see it in detail.

Keep it short

Again?! We are living in a fast going world no one has the time to read about you in a book. So yeah, keep it short.

I managed to come up with a sort of a min and max length for Cover Letter. As my max, I kept it to 4 paragraphs or a single A4 page. My min was a single paragraph. I think if we could go shorter than this minimum my Cover Letter was not doing its job properly.

What to say?

Anything!. You can talk about whatever you like. Just make sure what you write will make the reader remember you by. So if you have Super-powers, Unique abilities, Similar background and Award this is the right place for it. If you added a skill/experience in your resume but it is highly relatable to the job or important you can add it here too.

Other worth mentioning topics are: you like to be a mentor, you like challenges, flexible time (if mentioned in the description) and you would like to have your personal time to yourself.

At first, I tried to keep my Letter very formal. I was told by quite a few recruiters that I need to break the ice and be easy. What I would suggest is that keep your mood in the middle not too formal not too friendly. So don’t say “sir” neither curse!. You can also add any friendly message you might have for them.

Make sure you stay honest and true. Don’t lie nor assume.

I usually like to add a looking forward message at the end to show I’m excited to hear back from them and kinda try to push them to do so. I have been told it actually works.

Focused and Job Specific

General multi-purpose Cover Letters don’t seem to work. They either end up being the same as your resume or something very cliche. That’s is the hardest part about them.

I tried to create a Cover Letter template to just fill in the blank and send it but again I figured it does not work. If you want to stand out for that job it has to be written for that job.

I would highly suggest having a short focused specific Cover Letter than a long formal essay that you can copy to every application.

Format

In the case of Cover Letter make sure you have it in text too. Some sites don’t allow you to upload PDF and you have to copy and paste it.

Read Samples

Read a few samples and see how others write their Letter. Pick the good vocab from them.

Copying from others is the worst thing you can do to yourself. As I said earlier you need to stand out. So don’t repeat everything you see from others and try to come up with something unique.

Job-seeking websites usually have a guide on how to write a Cover Letter too. Reading can be very handy.

So That’s how I write my Letters. Writing, in general, can be improved by practice. I found the best practice for writing to be writing. So the more I write the easier it gets the next time.

Let me know if I missed anything or you have any other tips. Happy to hear different stories every day.

As always you can find me on Twitter.

Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

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