According to 83% of hiring managers, cover letters are an important part of every recruiter’s decision-making process.
What’s more, 72% of them will expect you to hand in a great cover letter, even if this part is listed as ‘optional’ on the job advert.
And if you ask our experts, cover letters are an amazing opportunity to tell a personal story and make the right first impression.
But what exactly is a cover letter and how to write a good one? Let’s see…
Easy-to-follow cover letter writing tips for Communications
At first, you may think that the cover letter should repeat all information from your resume but in a story-like form. However, that’s not true.
Instead of re-writing your resume, you need to focus on making the right impression.
You can do that by talking about the skills that help you overcome challenges, your excitement when it comes to the industry, your past achievements, and your knowledge of the company.
Now let’s look at some other things that will make your cover letter stand out.
We've made an in-depth guide on what should your cover letter include that you can check out!
How to choose the most suitable salutation and make a good impression
Choosing the right salutation might be tough – we get it. After all, you don’t want to sound way too formal or too friendly.
There are some things that should definitely be taken into consideration when it comes to addressing your cover letter. First and foremost comes the recruiter’s name.
Even if you don’t know who the person reading your cover letter might be, try to find out. Check company websites or social media profiles or even media articles.
If this doesn’t help, you can go for traditional gender-neutral salutations that don’t require knowing the hiring manager’s name.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
- Dear [company name] Recruiter
- Dear Alex Johnson
A noteworthy introduction is what will grab the reader by the collar and make them want to get to know you better.
But what’s the best way to begin your cover letter? Highlighting your excitement about the position!
Be honest and original – this will get you remembered. You can even link your excitement to the reasons why you’d like to grow in this exact field.
Don't skip on your Communications soft and hard skills
Listing hard skills on your resume is quite straightforward, isn’t it? But when it comes to writing a memorable Communications cover letter, you need to be a bit more creative.
The thing is, cover letters are designed to tell a story. To show the thought process behind your achievements and motivations. To put the recruiter in your shoes and allow them to get to know you better.
Maybe you want to share how you deal with challenges? Or what helps you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter.
And while soft skills are important, hard skills shouldn’t be skipped either. Mentioning some hard skills (especially the ones listed by the recruiter) is always a great idea. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen documents for certain keywords.
Show that you've researched the company
How can you prove your excitement about the company? By showing that you’ve taken the time to research its issues, goals, and plans. You can also link them to your skills and experience if you want to show that you're really a strong candidate.
In addition to making a great impression, researching the company will help you find out if you really want to be part of this team or not. After all, interviewing is a two-way process.
End in an actionable way
By now you’ve managed to make a good impression on the hiring manager, and it’s important not to ruin it. That’s why you need your ending to be just as great as your cover letter’s body.
But what are the things that make up a memorable closing line? Expressing gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration, and saying that you look forward to their reply, to name a couple.
You can stick to traditional phrases (e.g. Looking forward to hearing from you soon) if you wish to be on the safe side. Just make sure that the language you use matches the company culture.