How to Write a Cover Letter

Make applying to jobs easier with tips on How to Write a Cover Letter. Impress recruiters with your skills. Be one step closer to landing that interview.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge them on their cover letter. So be sure to write a good one when applying to a job. It could be the start of a successful career. Follow our tips on How to Write a Cover Letter, and you could secure yourself a spot at the company of your dreams.

Purpose of a Cover Letter

To many employers, cover letters are as important as a CV. It is your opportunity to tell employers why they should hire you. When sending out job applications, employers aren’t sure who they are hiring. A recruiter narrows down possible candidates for interviews using cover letters.

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

Even though you want employers to hire you, you shouldn’t include unnecessary information. You should be proud of all your achievements. But adding irrelevant info can hurt your chances of getting the job. Focus on what is important when writing a cover letter. You should include:

Skills

Showcase your skills by adding them to your cover letter. If you studied further, add your highest  professional qualification. If you haven’t completed your course, you need to state that in your letter. It shows them that you are still learning new skills and furthering your education.

Experience

Prove that you are the best candidate for the job by including your experience. Whether its formal work or experience as a volunteer. Having years of experience shows employers that you can complete basic workplace duties.

Documents to include with your cover letter when sending out your job application:

  • CV
  • Certified copies of qualifications
  • Portfolio of your work
Man sitting on the floor writing his cover letter with the tips he learned on How to Write a Cover Letter.

Stand out From the Crowd With These Cover Letter Tips

Even though a cover letter seems simple enough to write, it is easy to make mistakes that could cost you the position. A mistake often made is applying with the same cover letter to various jobs. Your letter should be unique to the job you are applying to. 

Structure

Before you start writing your cover letter, you need to have a proper structure. Think of a cover letter as a story, with an introduction, body and conclusion. Plan it out for the best possible letter.

Keep your cover letter to one page – You don’t want to bore recruiters with a long worded cover letter. Keep it short, sweet and concise.

Add your current contact details as a header – This will make it easy for recruiters and employers to contact you for an interview.

One point per paragraph – Include separate paragraphs for your experience, skills, and motivation for hiring you. This makes it easy to read and follow.

Include the date – This will show employers that you have sent in a current cover letter, with updates and relevant information.

Do’s and Don’ts of a Great Cover Letter

Make a lasting impression on your future employers. Avoid making mistakes by following these guidelines. You could be one step closer to a successful career.

Do’s

  • Mention the name of the recipient you are sending your application to
  • State why you are the perfect candidate
  • Add relevant work experience and skills
  • Highlight your strengths 
  • Remember to proofread your work

Don’ts

  • Avoid slang, keep it professional
  • DO NOT focus on your weaknesses
  • Avoid talking about salary expectancy
  • Steer clear of negative tones

Advantages of a Great Cover Letter

There are many benefits of a cover letter. It is the bridge between you and a successful career. If you don’t have a detailed accomplished CV, your cover letter can make up for that.  Advantages of a great cover letter includes:

It Shows you are the Perfect Candidate

You can use it to motivate recruiters into hiring you. It gives you the opportunity to impress employers before meeting you. Show employers that you are a lucrative asset to the company.

Gives Employers Insight on who you are

Employers need to recruit the best possible candidates for their company. This will allow HR managers to see that you will fit into the company and uphold its values.

You’ve Done Research on the Company

When you mention that you have done research on the business, it shows how eager and determined you are. Prove that you are willing to learn, even before they hire you.

Displays Writing Abilities

Many of our duties include written work. Put your best foot forward with a well written letter. It could show recruiters that you are able to write clear emails and detailed reports.

How to Write a Cover Letter When you Don’t Have Matric or Experience

Applying for a job can be difficult, yet it is harder when you don’t have matric or experience. This makes it difficult to decide what to include when you don’t have much to say. But don’t worry. There are things you can include and still get a job when you don’t have matric and experience.

Highlight your soft skills – Prove you are the perfect candidate. Put your soft skills in the foreground when you don’t have matric and experience. Great thing is these skills can be learnt at home. Soft skills will also make your CV stand out. Include soft skills such as:

  • Excellent Communication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity
  • Organisational skills
  • Time Management skills

Include Microsoft Office – Some employers need staff with knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite. This includes MS Word and MS Excel sheets. You can teach yourself these skills by playing around with it at home. You can also put it on your CV as part of your skills.

Let recruiters know you want to study further – Inform your employers of your desire to study further. It shows them your willingness to learn and improve your skills. To get your matric is also a great benefit to your career. Who knows, you can even get employers to pay for your studies.

Difference Between a Cover Letter and Motivational Letter

You may think that a motivational letter and cover letter is the same thing. Yet there are subtle differences between the two. These are:

Motivational Letter

Become accepted for a program or funding with this letter. You can write a motivational letter for the following:

  • Acceptance to university or college 
  • A bursary application
  • Approval to work as a volunteer
  • Applying to work as a non-profit worker

Cover Letter

Applicants write cover letters to apply to a formal place of employment. Write a cover letter when  you are applying for a:

  • Specific position at a company
  • Entry level job
  • Internship
  • Learnership
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Cover Your Bases With an Outstanding Cover Letter

Allow our courses to make your cover letter a cut above the rest. Learn the skills that will make recruiters jump to the opportunity to hire you. Contact our consultant for more details. You can:

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Last Updated: September 16, 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Charnell Ward
Charnell Ward
Charnell is a top-class content creator at Skills Academy. She creates engaging content with the aim to provide useful information on distance learning and further study opportunities. Her passion for writing goes beyond her career, as she enjoys writing short stories and volunteering as a writer in her free time. View my LinkedIn profile

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