What You Absolutely Must Have in Your Cover Letter

You’ve heard it before from the gurus of job hunting: Do your homework before you have any communication with a prospective employer. That means research the job you’re applying for, the company you’re applying to and even the industry it is part of, including its competition.

Since your cover letter is among the first documents you’ll be sending out, this is where you will show proof you have done your homework. You should tailor your cover letter to the job and the company. It should also include three elements if you want the best chance to have it noticed.

Here they are:

Prove you have done your research

Hiring managers want to see you cared enough to research their company before you created a cover letter. It looks good when you show them an individualized letter rather than some generic model you send to every other business.

Add a personal touch or two: Congratulate them on a recent company award you read about or a new product that just hit the shelves. Let them know you understand the position’s role in these accomplishments and you're excited just thinking about participating in events like these.

Recruiters like to know you’re aware of what you’re getting into, so refer to the job and the company early in your letter.

An account of how your skills relate to the position

Your cover letter is also an explanation of your resume. It’s critical you let them know what your skills and experience are and how you can use them in your new role, based on what you did previously.

Some candidates will use two columns: “Your Requirements” is the heading on the left and “My Qualifications” are on the right. Using the job posting as a guide, they list every requirement of the job in the left-hand column and the corresponding qualifications that match them on the right.

It’s an organized, easy-to-read method for making the point you are an excellent fit for the position.

Your enthusiasm for the position

If you’re excited about the prospect of working for this company in this capacity, write down your feelings and share them in your cover letter. Make sure you are truly enthusiastic, so it comes across as genuine rather than as a hyperbole-filled declaration intended to impress a hiring manager.

Do you need help getting started on a cover letter?

At United Personnel, we’ll use our 30-plus years of experience to guide you toward a job that’s the right fit for you. And that includes getting your job hunt started in the right direction.

Whether it’s a short-term placement or a direct hire position you’re looking for, we can help you find it. 

Whenever you’re ready to make a move, make us your first contact!