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Cover Letter FAQ
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that you attach to your resume as part of your job application. It can take many forms: the text inside the body of your job application email, a filled out website form, or a standalone PDF document.
What is the purpose of the cover letter today? The somewhat disheartening truth is that recruiters will not read always your cover letter. At the same time, it’s still considered a courtesy to include one, in particular at smaller companies who are more likely to manually review each application. In the end, a well-written cover letter is an opportunity to distinguish yourself.
How to write a great cover letter?
Follow this cover letter outline:
- Your contact information + company’s information.
- Salutation: “Dear [first name]” (or “Dear Mrs. [last name] for formal companies).
- Intro paragraph: Introduce yourself and show you’re a good fit, e.g. “As a Software Developer with 3+ years of experience in digital technologies, I apply with enthusiasm for this opportunity”. Keep it brief.
- 2nd paragraph: Give them a little bit of your background — be more specific about your relevant accomplishments and experience and match them to what they’re looking for.
- 3rd paragraph: Write a little bit about any other additional relevant hard skills/knowledge areas they’re looking for, as well as any qualifications.
- 4th paragraph: Briefly say what you can bring to them and what’s attractive about that company. For instance, “I’ve seen on your website that you heavily focus on cryptocurrency projects. As a cryptocurrency enthusiast, I would love to join your team”.
- Closing paragraph: “Please find attached my resume. Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding next steps.”
- Signature: “Yours sincerely” (UK English) or “Yours faithfully” (US English), [your full name].
How long should a cover letter be? And how to format it?
Cover letters should be clean and easy on the eye. It should be around three-four paragraphs long, maximum one page.
As for the formatting, the easiest way is to pick a cover letter template and Kickresume will take care of most formatting decisions for you. But even then, there are several ways in which you can further improve the formatting of your cover letter, such as:
- Divide your cover letter into paragraphs.
- No walls of text.
- Use bullet points or bold text to highlight your strongest selling points.
- Use a font size between 10 and 12.
What to research before writing a cover letter?
Research the company and their tone of voice. Look at their website and you’ll get the idea. Then you should adjust your cover letter’s voice to it.
Also, search for specific cover letter examples for your role and use these for inspiration. Then look at the job description of the roles you’re applying for. Identify major experience and hard skill keywords, and insert them in your letter in the relevant sections. And put it in your own words.
What cover letter mistakes to avoid?
- Making it too general.
- Not telling why you’re a great fit.
- Cover letter fluff.
- Not adjusting the tone of voice to the specific company (formal or informal).
Get inspired by real cover letter examples.
Browse cover letter examples by real people who got hired at top companies like HubSpot, IBM, or Siemens.See cover letter examples
Follow the only cover letter guide you'll ever need.
Writing a cover letter isn’t that bad when you know what to do. This cover letter guide will tell you everything you need to know.Read cover letter guide