Writing the perfect cover letter isn’t that hard, really. People have been studying how to be convincing in writing for the past 2000 years, and in the disposition, nothing has changed. The weird thing is that the knowledge gets forgotten from time to time. To make it easier for you, I have made an easy-to-follow, five-step guideline that you can use. If you, after reading this, still feel you need more help, you can use our algorithm to create your cover letter in a few minutes.
OK, here goes:
1. Read through the job ad and customize your text
The whole point of a cover letter is to get you to that interview. Sending a generic letter, regardless of what position you’re trying to get, will be doing more damage than it will help you.
Take the time to adapt your letter to the advertised job. It is really the most important thing here. Therefore, find out which work tasks seem to be most important for your future employer, what personal characteristics are required or if there is any special skills you should have.
Then, take some time to think about what skills and experiences you have that best describe how you will succeed in the role.
2. Use the rhetorical disposition
If you are to write the perfect cover letter, you must act like a professional. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. How to best argue his case was already resolved in ancient Greece, and nothing has changed since then. The disposition is divided into the following sections:
Aristotle would have crushed writing the perfect cover letter.
Spark your reader’s curiosity! Write something that makes the recipient remember you and want to continue reading.
What is it that made you want you want to do what you do? What are you currently working on? What are you looking for?
c) The statement of the case
Your statement is, of course, that you are the perfect match for the job.
This is your time to shine. Describe why you are perfect for the role. Adapt the text to the most important parts of the job described in the ad. Try to find examples of what you’ve done that prove that you meet the specific requirements.
e) The conclusion
You have the opportunity to be creative here – feel free to finish up with a “call-to-action”, that they really should meet with you. It could also be a brief summary or any other creative idea that you come up with, something that makes the recipient want to take the next step with you.
3. Keep it short and concise
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away,” said author Antoine de Saint Exupéry and it couldn’t be more true. Write absolutely no more than a page, don’t take every example you find and don’t address everything that is written in the job ad.
It is always good to let your cover letter marinate for 24 hours and then read it again, or to have someone else read it. I promise you, you’ll find things you want to change afterwards.
5. Ask for help
As with almost all tasks, if you don’t see yourself fit to do it really well, get help. Getting your cover letter right is, plainly speaking, too important to fail at. Create a cover letter with our generator, write your own, and pick the one that’s best. But don’t send something mediocre to your future employer. There are just too many people competing for the jobs right now.
Magnus is the CEO and co-founder of Cowrite. He is an experienced entrepreneur, copywriter and career guide. Magnus loves not knowing where he is, “life gets more exciting that way” and has the word “hi” tattooed with Times New Roman on his left toe.