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…
Tips to write a memorable engineering cover letter
There are several things you need to do if you want to make your cover letter stand out.
First and foremost, make sure to stick to a tone of voice that is either formal and more on the traditional side or completely matches the company culture.
Second, make sure you’re not just re-writing your resume. Rather, build upon it.
And third, focus on achievements and motivations, rather than plainly listing your hard skills.
Now, if you want to stay on top of your cover letter game, we’ve got some additional tips for you.
Choose the right salutation and show your eagerness for the job
Address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager, whenever possible. This has proven to be a good approach for two reasons.
First, it shows your attention to detail.
Second, it proves that you’re willing to do some research and go the extra mile for the sake of success.
But if finding the recruiter’s name is too difficult, you can go for a traditional gender-neutral phrase.
Here’s our selection of strong salutations. Feel free to borrow any of them:
- Dear Human Resources Manager,
- Dear Mr. Johnson,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for],
- Dear Nathan Lovelace
The introduction of your Engineering cover letter is what will get you remembered. But how can you make sure that your opening line is good enough?
Rumor has it, many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on website X and decided to apply” ever more often. But more importantly – that recruiters are already getting tired of it.
So instead of saying what everyone else is saying, we advise you to go for a more honest approach. Begin your cover letter by explaining what excites you about the company and how this excitement will help you on your journey towards success.
Don't skip on your Engineering soft and hard skills
So you’ve listed all your hard skills on your resume, now what?
It’s time to think about the soft ones. But remember, it’s essential to not just list your soft skills but to link them to the actual ways they can help you do well in the future.
And what about hard skills, have we completely crossed them out? No, not at all. You still need to mention some of these if you want to pass applicant tracking systems that screen texts for certain keywords. Check the requirements section of the job advert for a complete list of phrases you need to include.
Prove that you're familiar with the company
Adding a line or two about the company can help you prove your excitement and readiness to become a valuable team member.
You might also choose to link your previous work-related tasks and achievements to current industry or even company issues and how you think they can be resolved.
Go for a strong ending
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.