Cover letter templates can make things a lot easier during a stressful time. Whether you're looking for a job because you don't like your current place of work, or you lost your job, there is a lot of pressure to stand out and get noticed by employers. It is too easy to write something quickly and send it in without another thought. This will make it difficult for you to find a job that you will enjoy.
There are a lot of good reasons to use cover letter templates, but first you have to know what makes a good cover letter.
What Makes a Good Cover Letter?
It is widely known that a good cover letter will help you stand out. Anything that you can do to get noticed by employers (in a good way) will help put you at the top of a short list of potential hires. But what exactly makes a good cover letter?
Your cover letter does not need to be any longer than one page. If you write much longer than that, you risk your application getting overlooked. The hiring managers will have a lot of applicants to look through, so they don't have the time to read lengthy cover letters. Keep your message to the point and show off your concise writing skills.
When creating a cover letter, make sure the contents of the cover letter address the needs that the company has. It is pretty easy to tell when you're copying and pasting a generic cover letter and putting in different company names. Think about the needs the job listing stated, and then in the cover letter, answer how you would fit those needs. Talk about which of the qualifications you meet and why you should be chosen over everyone else for this job.
Include All Necessary Parts
There are a number of things that should be included in your cover letter. The first is the greeting or opening. Make sure you are addressing the letter to the proper person or department. If this is not indicated, you can write the letter out to the hiring manager. The first section should be a customized paragraph about the job for which you are sending in the cover letter. This should highlight why you are the perfect candidate for that specific job opening.
The main body of the cover letter should explain how previous achievements from previous positions would help the company to overcome challenges they are currently facing. Show off your strengths here and do not pull any punches. This is where you are most likely to set yourself apart from others. Throughout the cover letter, make sure to mention any skills that are relevant to the position and how you would use them if you were to be hired.
In the closing, make sure to include a call to action, such as asking for a follow-up interaction. This will help recruiters know what actions to take next and show them you will be awaiting a response. Encourage them to call or email you and leave the corresponding information. Make sure to include a sincere sign-off and thank them for their time and for reading the cover letter.
Don't Regurgitate Your Resume
You do not want your cover letter to read the same way as your resume. Your cover letter should be more like a story and engage the hiring manager. Your cover letter encourages you to use full sentences while you're more likely to use bullet points in your resume. People don't all have the same history or background, so it is disappointing to hiring managers and recruiters when everyone's cover letters sound the same.
Don't Focus on Your Education
Some applicants, particularly those fresh out of college, have a tendency to focus too heavily on their education. However, most people that are applying are going to have similar educations if not more time in college (or in a trade school of some sort). Feel free to mention it, just don't linger on it too long. If you do not have relevant experience, tell them why the education matters and what you already know. Make them care about that degree and possibly why yours is unique.
Hiring managers love to see numbers. If you can tell them what percentage of growth you helped the company achieve, then do so. Or, give your best estimates. Saying "I increased social media presence by 75%" looks more impressive than "I managed their social media accounts." Managers love to hear about end results because they're running a business.
Consider the Field
If you're looking to apply to a corporate, button-up type position, then the standard look would probably do well for you. However, if you're applying somewhere that focuses on creativity, you might want to consider switching up the look and format of your cover letter. Add in anything that makes you stand out and brings attention to the excellent worker that you are.
What Can the Perfect Cover Letter Do for You?
A good cover letter can get your foot in the door when it comes to the hiring process. Sometimes, this is all you need to land the job you are after. Now that we know how to construct a great cover letter, now it is time to answer the "why?" question.
Like we mentioned before, the goal of writing a cover letter is to stand out from others. Considering you are restricted to one page to do so, it is no easy feat. A candidate's cover letter is typically read before the resume is, so in a way, the cover letter has to do the serious talking. It could be the thing that helps you land that dream job.
Get You the Interview
Once you get noticed, the next step is to land the interview. The hiring company is only going to focus on those they think are the most serious or the most qualified, so a stellar cover letter might be the thing that gets you in the door. A cover letter that matches your personality will give you more confidence when it comes time to interview. If they like your cover letter, they are sure to love talking to you in person.
Allow You to Switch Careers
Normal resume layouts do not really give you the chance to explain why you are applying for an HR position if your background is in marketing. Your cover letter would be the perfect place to explain your transferable skills, explain that you are looking to make a change, and go into why. If you're changing careers, you put yourself at a serious disadvantage if you apply to these jobs and don't explain your thought process.
Hiring managers will look for whatever excuse they can to eliminate someone. They have tons of applications to sift through. So, if you don't explain yourself, it will look as if you applied by mistake. Your resume will simply land in the trash.
3 Cover Letter Templates
Cover letter templates are great guides for filling out your cover letter when you are not sure where to start. Below are ten different options to help you get inspired!
1- Basic Cover Letter Template
These types of cover letter templates work best for corporate settings. This template can be found on The Balance Careers website is free to download and offers a basic jumping off point.
2- Source-Dependent Cover Letter
Depending on whether your cover letter is a cold contact, responding to an ad, or in response to a recruiter, Hudson has four different possible cover letter templates to use. Please note this is just the wording of the body of the letter and does not include an artistic look. This will simply help you respond to various types of inquiries with your cover letter.
3- Designer/Artistic Cover Letter
Sometimes, the job will call for something a little more colorful and eye-catching. Venngage has a tool where you can create your cover letter. The pre-made cover letter templates come in all sorts of looks and designs, making it easy to choose something that would work with your potential new job. This group also has tools to create resumes, presentations, or anything else you feel you would like to keep branded—all free to use!
Please note that you will want to remove anything from the cover letter templates that does not ring true to yourself. These are purely examples, and it would be a shame to lose a job simply because there is other information in the letter that doesn't have to do with you. It's a common mistake that people do not double-check or even triple-check the facts in their resume to make sure everything makes sense.
That being said, cover letter templates are a wonderful place to start. From there, you will have to polish your cover letter so that it shines and shows off all of your skills to the hiring manager. These are wonderful tools to get you started on your journey to a new job or possibly a new career.