How to Write a Convincing Cover Letter

You have already made a resume that highlights your experience and you’re about to submit a job application. But before you can continue you see the phrase that every job seeker dreads: “cover letter required.”

Nobody really enjoys writing cover letters, but if you’re job hunting in 2023, you’ll need a solid cover.

A cover letter is a single-page document that you include in your job application. This letter contains any vital information that might have been skipped in your resume. It’s your means of communicating your value and convincing the employer that you’re the best of the job.

List your contact details

Underneath your name in your cover letter header, list the following contact information:

  • Email address
  • Phone number Mailing address (optional)
  • LinkedIn profile link (optional)
  • Portfolio or website (optional)
  • Pronoun (optional)

Address the hiring manager by name

Next, address your letter to the hiring manager, by name if possible. Avoid using “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or Madam”. If possible, get the recruiters name or use “Dear, Hiring Manager”. A standard cover letter salutation includes the hiring manager’s last name, and begins with “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or another relevant professional title.

Tailor your letter to the job description

Ensuring a tailored cover letter for each job opportunity is paramount. Avoid the trap of using a generic, copy-and-paste method. Crafting a unique letter by aligning your skills and experiences with the specific job requirements. Consequently, your cover letter becomes a personalized statement, effectively highlighting why you are the ideal fit for that particular role. Moreover, this tailored approach significantly enhances your chances of standing out among other applicants.

It is crucial to emphasize the importance of tailoring your cover letter for each job opportunity. Avoid the temptation to employ a generic, copy-and-paste strategy, and instead, transition towards fashioning a truly unique letter. This involves aligning your diverse skill set and experiences meticulously with the specific job requisites.

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As a result, your cover letter evolves into a personalized, compelling narrative, explicitly showcasing why you are the perfect match for that individual role. Furthermore, this tailored approach significantly bolsters your chances of capturing the attention of potential employers amidst a competitive applicant pool.

Include keywords

When reviewing the job description, it’s vital to pinpoint keywords like “data-driven” and “customer-centric.” Incorporating these keywords into your cover letter is pivotal as it enhances its performance within an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and boosts visibility. Moreover, the job description may highlight desirable skills and experiences. As you craft your cover letter, it’s crucial to specifically address all the essential requirements listed. This should be substantiated with examples that demonstrate how you’ve effectively applied these skills in the past, emphasizing your accomplishments.

As you carefully scrutinize the job description, make a diligent effort to identify crucial keywords like “data-driven” and “customer-centric.” Embedding these specific terms strategically within your cover letter holds paramount importance, optimizing its performance within an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and subsequently heightening its visibility. Furthermore, it’s common for the job description to outline a comprehensive list of desirable skills and experiences. Hence, your cover letter should intricately address not only the essential requirements listed but also spotlight your proficiency in each area. Backing these claims with illustrative examples showcasing instances where you’ve effectively utilized these skills is crucial, underscoring your achievements and substantiating your suitability for the role.


Make it easy to read


The readability of your cover letter holds significant sway over its reception, even if some harbor doubts about recruiters thoroughly examining it. Nonetheless, an easily digestible cover letter enhances the likelihood of genuine engagement. To achieve this, employing professional fonts like Garamond, Times New Roman, Arial, Montserrat, or Lato is key, as they offer a polished appearance.

Moreover, maintaining a font size between 11 and 12 fosters effortless reading. Additionally, by setting margins at 1” or 1½”, contingent upon the content length, you ensure a balanced appearance—not overly sparse nor excessively congested with text. This equilibrium guarantees your cover letter looks adequately filled while preserving its readability.

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Highlight your accomplishments

The main objective of a cover letter is to present convincing arguments for why you’re the perfect fit for the job. It’s vital to go beyond simply restating what’s in your CV and highlight accomplishments that distinguish you. Essentially, the cover letter should complement your CV by providing further insights rather than duplicating its content. Using bullet points to highlight key aspects and noteworthy accomplishments adds a unique touch, elevating the impact of your application. Additionally, including measurable data, like facts and figures, holds significant value as it resonates with employers who appreciate tangible evidence.

Highlight your skills

If your prior work experiences don’t explicitly highlight you as the ideal candidate for the role, transition towards emphasizing your skill set. Offer an extensive overview of the particular skills you possess that align directly with efficiently carrying out the job responsibilities. Furthermore, emphasize any certifications or qualifications you’ve obtained over time, which solidify your competence and expertise in the field. This method enables you to present a more comprehensive array of your capabilities and qualifications, transcending the limitations of your professional background.

Demonstrate that you’re a culture fit

Companies prioritize candidates who resonate with their corporate culture. Likewise, job seekers emphasize understanding a company’s values before applying to avoid toxic work environments. To ensure alignment with a company’s culture and mirror it in your cover letter, examine their website and social media channels. Look for their vision, mission, and values, and gauge the tone on their social platforms. Tailor your cover letter’s tone and language to echo the attitudes and values lprojected by the company in its communications.

Save properly

Regardless of the file format you choose, be it PDF or Word document, assigning the right title to your document holds significant importance. Steer clear of generic or lazy titles like “Sarah Cover letter 1,” “Resume (copy of copy),” or “Sarah new Cover letter.” Elevate the professionalism of your file titles by opting for specific, and descriptive ones like “Sarah Johnson’s Cover Letter” or “Sarah Johnson Cover Letter for Graphic Designer Application.” These titles not only convey professionalism but also ensure clarity and relevance when submitting your application materials.

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Show a little personality

Firstly, don’t hesitate to reveal your personality in your letter. Employers aim to understand the individual behind the letter, not just skim through another standard text. Consider infusing your genuine self into your writing.

Secondly, leverage your letter as an opportunity to showcase your unique attributes and highlight achievements that might not fully fit into your CV, such as successful remote work experiences. It’s a space to bring forward facets of your professional life that add depth to your profile.

Lastly, maintain a clear, simple, and concise approach, ensuring your cover letter remains confined to a single page while still captivating the reader’s interest. Keeping it both engaging and informative will leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

Crafting an effective cover letter is pivotal in securing a job opportunity. By tailoring the letter to the specific job description, showcasing relevant skills and achievements, and aligning with the company’s culture, candidates can significantly enhance their chances of standing out.

Additionally, infusing personality while maintaining professionalism, keeping the content concise yet impactful. Paying attention to detail in formatting, and presentation are key elements in creating a compelling cover letter. Ultimately, a well-crafted cover letter serves as a gateway to introducing oneself beyond the resume, making a lasting impression on prospective employers.

The Academic Hive webpage offers you top-notch tips on how to write a convincing cover letter. We also offer Consultancy Services, book a session today.

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