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How to write the perfect cover letter: A blueprint

The jury is still out on which part of a job application process, all the way from networking to writing a CV and acing the interview, is the most nerve-racking. Adding cover letters to the mix won’t help, but it’s part of the game – and we can help you win it.

Basic rules

Stick to a maximum of three paragraphs with three to four sentences each. If you email the application, paste the cover letter into the email body, so the hiring manager can read it right away. Proofread and use spell check as if your whole professional career depended on it.

The greeting

Sherlock-Holmes like the best of them to find out the name of the hiring manager and don’t be “dear sir/madam”- generic.

Paragraph 1: Piece de resistance

Cover letters don’t save the best for last: the first sentence can make or break your application. Do not waste precious real estate and state the obvious (aka your name and that you’re applying for job xyz) in the first paragraph. Get out the proverbial big guns and blow them away with a first impression that explains why you are not only excited, but also the perfect fit for the position.

Paragraph 2: Time to shine

So, you think you are special? Now’s a good time to prove it. Highlight your accomplishments, show off your skills, and advertise your expertise. Do not repeat your resume, but expand on it and tell a story, since you can use full sentences here. Write in a friendly and approachable voice that shows off your enthusiasm and conveys personality – be bold yet humble.

Paragraph 3: Do your homework

Do your research and personalize your cover letter. Read up on the company, the department, and the job – search the whole internet if you must, including tweets and LinkedIn profiles of employees. Then, casually show off that you are a passionate expert who does not just copy and paste away. Feel free to use all of that momentum to elegantly transition into the last sentence.

Finish (very) strongly

Close with a bang and sum up in one sentence why you and the job in question go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Final formalities

Of course, you are looking forward to telling them more about yourself in an interview, and you will be happy to send over more information if needed. Don’t lose focus and never ramble.

Sincerely,

Don’t forget to put your name here.

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