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…
How to write the perfect scientist cover letter
By now you’ve probably learned that a well-written cover letter will complement your resume and increase your chances of getting the job.
It will also introduce the recruiter to your strengths and your capacity to handle challenges.
In short - it will make them want to learn more about you!
Check out our guide on what your cover letter should include for some additional inspiration.
Now it’s time to move on to what you actually came for – our professional tips and examples that will help you write a memorable cover letter and land an interview.
Choose the right salutation and craft an introduction that gets you remembered
We advise you to address the cover letter directly to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, take some time to research it.
This will show that you’re attentive to detail and are willing to go the extra mile when necessary.
Here's a list of salutations you can never go wrong with. Note that some of them can be used even if you don’t know who the hiring manager is.
- To the [team you're applying for] Department,
- Dear Paul Black,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Ms. Stone
Coming up with a good introduction is your chance to make the right impression and give the hiring manager a solid reason to remember you.
So instead of going for popular opening lines such as “I found your job advert on website X”, prove that you are actually passionate about the position. Share why you would like to grow in this field and what makes the company exciting.
Mention both your hard and soft skills
Although you’ve probably listed all your skills on your resume, it’s worth mentioning them again, but by telling a personal story. Focusing on your soft skills and leaving most hard ones behind is also a good idea.
Maybe you want to mention the things that help you overcome setbacks? Or the things that help you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as you link it back to the specific job requirements.
Naturally, if the job advert mentions some hard skills explicitly, you should do the same in your cover letter. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen resumes and cover letters for certain keywords.
Prove your passion about 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.
End on a positive note
The last part of your cover letter should briefly sum up everything you’ve said so far. It should also express your gratitude for the hiring manager’s time and consideration.
The tone of the closing line depends on two things – your personal preference and the company culture. Don’t go for overly creative phrases if the company you’re applying for relies on strictly corporate language.
Traditional lines such as “Looking forward to your reply” are usually considered a safe bet. So when in doubt, stick to them.