How to Write a Cover Letter that Gets You Hired [FREE template included]

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

The year is 2020, but the same questions remain: Should you send a cover letter with your resume? Does anyone even read cover letters anymore?

The thing is, when you are applying for a job, you only have one shot to present yourself as the best candidate.

Why rely solely on cold facts from your resume when you can add more information, connect with an employer through a story about your achievements and skyrocket your chances of being invited to an interview?

The amazing thing is that all of that can be accomplished with a single-page cover letter.

Your cover letter is a place where you can show your passion for the position and the company, and highlight your most relevant qualifications, achievements and successes.

On top of that, cover letters are and always will be a sign of motivation. Trust us, not everyone will research the company and then write a compelling text about why they are a perfect match to the company’s needs.

Many candidates are so reluctant to do it that they avoid applying for any jobs that require the submission of a cover letter - even if their career depends on it.

That’s why a cover letter is an obvious sign of your motivation. And motivation will always be in style.

Let us make this task easier for you.

Here you are going to learn:

  • How to write a perfect cover letter that actually gets read by employers

  • How to format a cover letter to make your application top-notch

  • What to do before you send your cover letter

Additionally, you’ll get a cover letter template. Just replace the keywords and your cover letter will be ready in no time. If you are in hurry and this is the thing you are looking for, jump to the end of the post.

>> Download now a resume pack for your next job application. Cover letter template included! <<

Content: How to write a perfect cover letter

A cover letter should complement the content of your resume.

In a concise, straightforward way, you should put your skills and experience in the context of the job you’d like to apply for and convince the employer that you are the best candidate out there.

Be careful, all that should be done in 300-350 words.

Considering the limited space, a cover letter is not a place to duplicate content from your resume.

It is, however, a place to build your brand, position yourself as an expert, add value to your application and express things that cannot be added to a resume, such as your motivation for applying, the story behind your most impressive achievements or the reasons why you want to work for this company.

To do so, here is the proven structure that should be followed:

1. Greeting

Start with a greeting. It can seem silly, but this part sets the tone of your cover letter and can easily be a deal-breaker, so you need to do it right.

  • Greetings to avoid: Do not use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ or ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ – they are obsolete, unnatural and way over-used. Some hiring managers stop reading a cover letter as soon as they see one of those two phrases, so avoid them.

  • Address personally: Try to address your letter to the hiring manager directly. If no name is listed with the posting, research the name of the department director, recruiter, or other contact associated with the position via LinkedIn.

  • Or: If you can't find a name, start the letter with ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or ‘Dear XYZ Team’.

  • But don’t: Don’t combine too many options starting your cover letter with ‘Dear Sir/Madam/Hiring Manager/Mister/Miss’. It makes you look indecisive and unconfident. We just wanted to mention this, because we have seen it - sadly, more than once.

2. Intro section

Grab the reader's interest with your opening paragraph. This part should be a sneak-peek at the expertise and knowledge you can bring to the table.

To make it right, in one or two sentences you should:

  • tell them who you are

  • summarize your experience

  • and express your enthusiasm for the role.

For example, you could say:

‘As a performance manager with four years of experience in managing the team and exceeding targets each quarter, I was excited to see your advertisement for regional performance director.’

It grabs attention more effectively than:

‘I am writing to apply for the role of regional performance director, which was advertised on the XYZ job board.’

It will also set you apart from other candidates, as you will have an openi