How to write an Impressive Cover Letter in 2020: Complete Guide

Did you realize that there is an impressive cover letter behind every successful resume?

It isn’t just a statement. That’s the reality behind any successful job candidate, too. When you’re searching for the right job – fast, a good cover letter is almost as crucial as a great resume. A cover letter is an essential career resource that you need to use in your job quest. It’s a perfect opportunity to market yourself to a recruiter or HR in a smart manner. A successful cover letter can inspire the recruiter to want to see you. In this post, we’ll teach you how to compose a successful cover letter in 2020. First of all, it is better to get an understanding of what the cover letter is.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document used to be added to a resume or cv. The primary aim of the cover letter is to present yourself to the recruiter and explain what you have to give. That may involve an explanation regarding yourself, how you might support the specific organization, why you are willing to enter the company, etc.

If you need to prepare a cover letter for a specific job, it needs to be tailored with the keywords the same as a resume. The reason for this is, a cover letter should demonstrate the strengths that the recruiter would want to see with you. So you need to pick keywords from the job advertisement and put them on your cover letter. It ensures that you can not use the same cover letter for a different job application.

Importance of sending a Cover Letter with your Resume

If you are sending a resume via email, don’t forget to send it with a cover letter. No matter if you are a friend of the employer or you spoke to the employer via phone or in person, a cover letter is an essential career tool to send with your job application or resume. There are several reasons for that.

Your employer can be very busy. It is, therefore, necessary to send a cover letter with your resume as a reminder of why your resume is arriving in the mail.

Cover letters are personalized to every person according to the job they are applying for. The resume is tailored for a specific job. But it does not tell why you are ideal for the job. If you have any work gaps, the resume doesn’t mention them. A resume can not show your knowledge about the company. But a cover letter will.

So it is very clear that a cover letter is a prime tool that you can get the impression of the recruiter towards your strengths, qualifications, and interests in a different way.

Structure of a Cover Letter

There is no exact format for the cover letter. Yet you’ve got to arrange it properly in a manner that will quickly grab the reader’s eye. Below is a tutorial about how to do that and what to include in the cover letter.

Cover Letter Header

As this section appears at the top of your cover letter you need to make it attractively. This area displays your contact information the same as in your resume header. You need to put your first name and last name which is the biggest text in the document. Then you can include your current position or the desired position. After you need to provide contact information such as email address, phone number, home address etc.

Make sure you have a professional email address. If you don’t create a professional email address right now with a good email service provider such as google, yahoo etc. It is better to make your email address by using your first name and last name. And remember not to include your work phone number and work email address. Use your very own phone number and email address instead.

Examples for professional email address:

  • neilandrew@gmail.com
  • jsparrow95@yahoo.com
  • johnksmith@architect.com

Adding some links to your professional accounts such as LinkedIn is a great way to stand out your cover letter by thousands of others. And make sure to personalize the default LinkedIn URL if you are going to link it to the cover letter. You can add a more stunning look for your cover letter header by adding icons in front of contact information. Here is an example of a great cover letter header.

good example for perfect cover letter header

The Date

After you contact details you have to put the date you are sending the cover letter. But this section is optional.

There are different ways we can insert the date in your cover letter. The most common way is to include the day of the month, then the month and then the year. (e.g. 14 August 2020). Or else you can insert the data in numbers like 14/08/2020. That is the standard date format in British English. But in American English, you need to swap the date and the month as of 08/14/2020.

Recipient Details

This is where you put the contact information of the recipient. If you know the exact person who is going to read your cover letter, you may directly address the letter to that specific person. Addressing the right person will show your ultimate knowledge on how to write a formal business letter.

Example:

Hiring Manager,
Zed Design Solutions. inc,
3106, Doctors Drive,
Los Angeles, CA, 90017.

Subject Line

The subject line describes what your cover letter is about the same as your subject line in an email. You can be creative when writing this subject line, but keep it short and simple. If you use your subject line effectively you do not need to waste your time and space in your letter any more to describe what it is about.

But sometimes the recruiter will ask you to add the job reference number or some times the job posting location with the job title in your subject line. Therefore read the job description carefully before you write the subject of your cover letter. If there are no specific instructions simply put your job title.

Example subject lines:

  • Regarding [POSITION]
  • RE: [REFERENCE NUMBER]
  • RE: [JOB TITLE] – Available To Start Immediately.

Greeting

This is the way you salute to the recipient. This also called as the salutation of the cover letter. Try to find the recipient’s exact name and directly greet the person by their first and last name. If you can not find the exact name of the person, you can simply find it from the job ad, or else you can call the specific company to ask to whom you should address the cover letter. In situations in which you can not find the name, you can address the letter to the “Recruiting Manager” or “HR Department”.

Examples:

  • Dear Mr.John Doe,
  • Dear Jane Smith,
  • To whom it may concern,
  • Dear Hiring Manager,

The Opener

This is most likely the first paragraph or first few lines in your resume. You want to describe here about which position you are applying for and why you are a good fit for the job. Here you can show your accomplishments or achievements to impress the reader. Further, don’t spend your valuable time and precious space in your cover letter by explaining where you get to know about this job. You can use the subject line for that purpose like, “RE: Job advertisement in Daily News Paper (24/08/2020)”.

Examples for the opening line:

  • I strongly believe that I am a good fit for your company and would love the opportunity to become a professional developer in your company.
  • Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the Full Stack Developer role at your company.
  • My professional background has equipped me with skills exactly just what you need.
  • By reviewing your job description, it is clear that you are looking for a candidate that is extremely familiar with the responsibilities associated with the role.

The Cover Letter Body

This may include your second paragraph and third paragraph of your cover letter. The body of your cover letter is the main content of the document. In this part, you can describe your past relevant work experience concisely. At the same time, it is better to mention some of the relevant skills which helped you in your previous employment too.

Remember that your cover letter should be short. Do not make it longer than one page. If you can make some link between what you have to offer and what company needs from you, that is the top secret of a good cover letter. Cover letter body is an ideal place to show your personality to the recruiter.

To make this section stand out you can use action verbs to make your achievements much stronger and more powerful. Therefore it will also make the reader impressed.

Here is a great example of a cover letter body:

I have 5+ years of experience as a digital marketer. In my last position as an SEO Specialist at Zed Solutions, I was responsible for the company website traffic. One highlight from my last job was increased web traffic from 100,000 to 2M per month which resulted in a huge increment of Alexa Rank. There in my previous job I had the opportunity to develop my SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing and Affiliate Marketing skills.

Work Gaps

This is an optional part of your cover letter. But if your resume shows a gap in your work experience that will badly affect your career. Therefore it is better to eloquently explain them away in your cover letter. So that you do not need to worry about your work gaps any more.

Most of the candidates may have work gaps in their career due to various reasons. Here are the best sample reasons for having a gap in career. By describing below reasons briefly will make it easier for the recruiter to understand your work gaps.

  • Taking care of children.
  • Trying to start your own business or startup.
  • Taking time off to travel or education.
  • Pursuing any type of professional training.
  • Personal or family health issues.

Call to Action

Here show your enthusiasm to join the company and inform the hiring manager that you would love to get an invite for an interview. Give them your contact details such as phone number and email address that can contact you directly. Finally, thank the hiring manager to spend their valuable time to read your cover letter.

Example:

It would be a privilege to discuss the position in detail with you. I am happy to meet and discuss with you whenever it’s most convenient for you. I will follow-up with you next week. In the meantime, you can contact me using the email liamdavis@gmail.com or +1 750 254 147. Thank you for spending your most valuable time on reading this and I am looking forward to getting positive feedback from you.

The Closing Line

This where you close your cover letter. Here you can put a formal closing phrase and then your signature or name. Do not try to be too informal with your closing as this not your friend, but your potential employer. This section can be very short as 1 word or 1 sentence. Take a look at these examples:

  • With Regards,
    [Your Name]

  • Best Regards,
    [Your Name]

  • Thank you for your careful consideration,
    [Your Name]

  • Yours Sincerely,
    [Your Name]

Cover Letter Example

an example for a good cover letter

How to Format Your Cover Letter?

Keep in mind that this document is going to attach with your resume. Therefore, it must look simple, professional and should match your resume.

Best Fonts for an Impressive Cover Letter

There are professional fonts you can use when writing a cover letter. Such as; Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Cambria, Times New Roman etc. Do not mix your cover letter with different types of font. Limit it to only one type of font.

If you are using any fancy fonts like Brush Script and Segoe Print, avoid using those fonts in your cover letter. It spoils the professionalism of this document. You can see our article on cover letter fonts to choose the best one for your document.

Always keep your font size between 10-12 points to look it more professional. But you may use a slightly larger font in your name and contact information. Anyhow, remember to use the same font type and font size in your cover letter which you have used to make your resume.

Length of the Cover Letter

A cover letter should always be short and simple. And also it must be informative and fun-to-read.

It is better to have a word count between 200-400 in your cover letter (300 words recommended). Also do not exceed one page of text because hiring managers or recruiters do not have enough time to read essay type cover letters due to their busyness.

This may be a little trickier to write a cover letter within this amount of words. But you can get the help from Priwoo Cover Letter Builder and in the present that is the easiest and smartest way to create a covering letter.

Proofread will keep away Crucial Errors

Don’t think to make a single mistake on your cover letter. Because it will cause you to throw your resume and cover letter directly to the trash bin.

Spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes may happen as we all are humans.

But if you give it to someone qualified or one of your best friends, to proofread your document that could minimize the errors on your cover letter if there are any.

One often asked question by most of the applicants is, are cover letters essential to the job hunt. The answer is yes, they are. Cover letters are very important to attach and submit with your resume unless the job advertisement strictly tells you not to do so. Sometimes the cover letter may not be read by the recruiter. However, if they do, it would be good for you to include an excellent cover letter. Nevertheless, to get the best job-quickly, the cover letter is not enough, you need to have a perfect resume too.