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Cover Letters – The 4 Fundamentals to creating an effective cover letter

A few tips and tricks to help you make your mark with a great cover letter.

By Bsyn Support

Report 17 Dec 2021
Cover Letter

Why are cover letters important?

Before getting straight into what makes a good cover letter, we must first identify what is the point of a cover letter.

In a broad sense, cover letters are used for two main purposes:

  1. To express your interest in an organization as well as the specific position you are applying for.
  2. To expand upon some of the skills and experiences highlighted within your CV

Fundamental 1 – Introducing yourself (the first paragraph)

Within the first paragraph you must introduce yourself – this means talking about how you learned of the position you are applying for, and explaining why you are interested in applying for the role (don’t start talking about your life story!). Other things you may want to note when writing the first paragraph include:

  • Consider including your year e.g. a second year university student, junior, etc… (only really do this if it seems beneficial to mention this – i.e. for a graduate scheme. Although, make sure not to go into too much detail).
  • Consider include some specifics about the company, as it is important to tailor your cover letter to the job. Don’t just use generic language that could apply to any other company in any other industry.
  • Explain why the position is right for you and why you wish to work for this specific organization.

Fundamental 2 – Selling yourself (second and third paragraphs)

The second (and potentially third) paragraph is the main body of your cover letter, and as a result this is where you must truly sell yourself so that the employer can see you are a cut above the rest by showing you understand the position requirements as well as illustrating you possess the skills required to go above and beyond the role you are applying for (your main goal is to show that you will add value to this company if they hire you). Other things you should note in this section include:

  • Highlighting relevant characters traits and specific experiences that prove you fit the organization and roll.
  • Don’t simply repeat what is written on your CV!
  • Do elaborate on some of the skills and stories you mention!
  • Pay attention to the required skills section on the job posting and use it as a guideline of what to write/look for.
  • Emphasize why you are the right person for the job.

Fundamental 3 – Closing (the final paragraph)

This final paragraph is for you to leave a memorable final impression on the employer. You must make sure this section is short and sweet, and you should use it to:

  • Summarize qualifications and reiterate why you are perfect for the job.
  • Provide contact information or remind them to contact you with the information displayed in your CV.
  • Say thank you.

Fundamental 4 – Phrasing and layout

  • If you don’t have the name of the employer, there is nothing wrong with simply addressing the letter to ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ – Don’t just write ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘To whom is may concern’.
  • Limit the letter to just 3 or 4 paragraphs.
  • Expand and build up to your CV, don’t just copy it word for word. Consider your CV to be the main course, and your cover letter simply serves as the starter.
  • Re-read it. Cut out any spelling or grammatical mistakes and confirm that you’ve included the correct company name(s)/information.
  • Be enthusiastic and show off your personality! You want this job, so show it!

Want to see what the perfect cover letter looks like?

All of the links below can be found in bsynergetic’s Resources section, and is absolutely free to access! Make sure you check out these exemplary cover letters to help boost your employability!

Example cover letter for finance

Example cover letter for chemical engineering

Example cover letter for mechanical engineering and aerospace

Example cover letter for civil engineering


Bsynergetic is a platform that provides a hub for students and graduates who are looking to network, find new job opportunities, and develop their career skills. We do this via our online platform, app, and events at universities. If you are interested in checking out some of our other content please visit our other insights.

 

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