How to write a cover letter in 2020?
If you are starting a job search, writing an effective cover letter is just as important as submitting your CV. Some recruitment agencies receive hundreds of applications a day, which means your cover letter will help you make your application stand out among others. Here are some practical tips on how to draft an effective cover letter in 2020.
The basic format and structure of the cover letter
Cover letters should be brief while making sure they put through your suitability for the job. Here is a basic break down of how you should structure your cover letter:
- Start with your address and contact details in the top right-hand corner;
- On the left-hand side below, you should write the address of the company you’re applying for and the date;
- Address the recipient of the letter starting with ‘To’, for example, ‘To Human Resources Manager’ or simple ‘Dear Sir/Madam’;
- Add the job reference if one has been provided in the job application, for example, “Re: Delivery Driver, Gateshead” or “Ref – HR-005.”
- Break down your cover letter into four paragraphs:
Paragraph 1: Begin by stating the position you’re applying for, where you found it and when you are available to start. With your opening statement, you should also explain why you’re writing the letter.
Paragraph 2: Move on to explaining why you believe that you’re suitable for the job and why you’re potentially interested in working for the company.
Paragraph 3: The third paragraph should include your experience and what you can offer to the organization to contribute to their success.
Paragraph 4: Use the ending section to summarise your letter. Reemphasize your interest in the position and let them know your availability for a callback and interview. Wrap it up by thanking the employer for their time and say how you are looking forward to receiving a response.
What not to include in a cover letter
A cover letter is not a CV. It should be no longer than a single A4 page, but we would advise to make it as short as possible ensuring you convey all relevant information in it without making it boring. Avoid vague and generic language and make sure you tailor each letter to a specific company. Keep it formal.