As you’re applying for jobs, you might run into countless cover letter questions. How long should it be? Is it even necessary? Knowing how to write an effective cover letter can put you miles ahead in your job search. Not only will it set you apart from other applicants, but it will also ensure you leave a great first impression. To help you achieve that, we answered some of the most common cover letter questions that you might have.
Why is a cover letter necessary?
There is no doubt that cover letters play a crucial part in your job hunt. A well-written cover letter reflects your dedication. In turn, it will show hiring managers that you strive for excellence in your work. Moreover, it’s your chance to go beyond your experience and show off a bit of your character. And although more and more companies are choosing to bypass cover letters, it’s still a great chance to sell yourself as a future employee.
10 commonly asked cover letter questions
1. What is purpose of cover letter?
Your cover letter should expand on the accomplishments mentioned in your resume. It typically consists of four main sections. Your contact details allow the employer to get in touch with you. Next, the introduction presents you and why you’re interested in the job. The body paragraphs then elaborate on your career successes. And finally, your conclusion should prompt the employer to get in touch with a clear call to action.
2. What should a cover letter include?
Your cover letter should primarily include information about you as an employee. Your past achievements, strengths, and expertise should all make an appearance. Apart from showing that you’re qualified for the position, it should also explain why you’re interested in the job and the company.
3. How should I use keywords in my cover letter?”
Including keywords in your cover letter will help you get through the ATS and ensure your application makes it to the employer. The keywords you use in your cover letter should be the same as in your resume or LinkedIn profile. Read through the job description and look at the wording used to describe required skills, qualifications, and daily tasks. Then, sprinkle these throughout your resume and cover letter.
4. How to make my cover letter stand out?
An effective way to make your cover letter stand out is by mentioning a reference from the company. If applicable, you should include this in your first paragraph to grab the employer’s attention right away. Another way to set yourself apart with your cover letter is to include your past successes. Elaborate on what you achieved and how it positively affected the company.
5. Should I use a cover letter template?
Each cover letter will have the same main sections, which you’ll find in every template. However, you should always tailor the cover letter to reflect who you are and the position you’re applying to. To achieve that, instead, write your own generic template and then tailor it to each job.
6. Should I tailor my cover letter for each position?
In short, yes. You want to show the employer why you’re a good fit for this specific position and company. Thus, sending out a generic cover letter won’t be very effective. In each cover letter, emphasize why you’re the best person to fulfill the specific job duties. Similarly, explain what makes you a good fit for the company. You can create one generic cover letter and then personalize these details for each position to save time.
7. How long should my cover letter be?
Keep your cover letter short and to the point. Ideally, aim for three to four paragraphs. Include only the most relevant information and keep your cover letter one page or shorter. That way, you’re not letting the employer lose interest with lengthy paragraphs and too many details.
8. What do I write if I don’t have any experience?
If you don’t have experience in the field you’re applying for, focus on transferable skills. For example, if you learned to lead a group during a school project, discuss this to emphasize your leadership skills. Essentially, use the experience gained through education, volunteering, or informal employment to make up for a professional experience.
9. What mistakes should I avoid making in a cover letter?
Forgetting to proofread is a common mistake people make when writing cover letters. So, before you send your application, make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your writing. It’s also common to become repetitive with the use of “I” at the beginning of sentences, making the text harder to read. Also, avoid repeating the exact information you included in your resume. Instead, focus on the most relevant achievements and relate them to the role you’re applying to.
10. Should I invest in a writing service?
As said before, your cover letter should reflect who you are as a person and as an employee. However, if you want to ensure that you’ve got the tone, formatting, and everything in between right, you can invest in a writing service. A professional writing service will optimize the wording, composition, grammar, style, and keywords to get the best results. Plus, you can always read through it and ask for changes if you’re not happy with the result.
Remember that your cover letter should be balanced in all aspects. You can let your personality shine through but keep it professional. Boast about your achievements but explain how you accomplished them. And, of course, tailor it to the job, but make sure you still stand out. A powerful cover letter can expand your resume and present you as a stellar fit for any position.