Professional Cover Letter
Craft the perfect professional cover letter
When you’ve been working in a sector for a few years and it comes time to start job searching again, your best bet is to target potential leads with a well crafted professional cover letter. A good letter isn’t the only thing that will get you the job, although it can make a big difference in whether you get interviews or not.
Professional cover letters need to juggle between introducing you, playing the part of a personal cheerleader and helping a company see how you would fit into their structure and culture. That’s no small feat.
Writing a professional cover letter doesn’t require you to be a writer with the skills of Shakespeare. However, writing a convincing covering document that looks the part still needs a few special skills. This whole process can be made a lot easier with the help of a cover letter builder. Tools like this can help you create a letter with a great professional looking template design.
However, a great cover letter for an established professional needs to more than just look good, it needs to read well too. Let’s see just what it takes to write an expert professional cover letter in a little more detail.
How to Write a Professional Cover Letter
There’s absolutely no doubt that selling yourself in just a few short paragraphs is a tricky balancing act. However, it’s not as difficult as it looks. If you pick and choose the information carefully your cover letter will seem to almost write itself.
The best thing to do is list a few attributes about yourself and the company (this can be made a lot easier by rereading the job description) that you think will be of the most interest to the company. From there you can lay them out in your structure and pick and choose which will be most effective for the type of job you’re targeting.
In terms of writing style, you should always try to present you and the company in positive terms. An important consideration is not to focus too much on yourself. Don’t overuse “I”s. The job of the cover letter is to explain why the company needs you rather than vice versa.
However, don’t worry about showing a little personality. A professional cover letter is still an introduction, so you should definitely show a little of what makes you unique, especially if this fits in well with the company values and culture.
What a Professional Cover Letter Needs to Briefly Explain
- Why you want the job
- A couple of reasons for why you deserve the job
- Your achievements
- A little information about your personality
- Your availability to interview
Professional Cover Letter Format
Professional cover letter formats won’t differ very much from basic cover letters or entry level cover letters. They still follow a formal letter structure with contact information at the top, a polite greeting to the hiring manager, the main content in the middle and a polite sign off at the end.
The main text can be greatly simplified if you follow a simple structure plan for your initial draft. The basic format of the letter can be broken down to just three main sections which include:
- A paragraph to introduce you and your motivations
- 1-2 paragraphs to explain why you and the job are a good fit
- 1 or 2 paragraphs concluding and detailing the next steps and your availability to attend interviews
Let’s now look at a more detailed breakdown of that structure to see what sort of information works best in each distinct section of your letter.
How to Structure a Professional Cover Letter
When you’ve picked out all the information that will impress the recruiter, it’s time to find a place for it in your structure. Generally speaking, you should spend your first paragraph introducing yourself and what attracted you tot he job. You can then build on that by expanding on your experience and how that would fit in with the job on offer. Finally, you should then try and lead the recruiter towards an interview. It’s a document that should be short and sweet overall.
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A good professional cover letter doesn’t need to be too long. Even if you’ve had a long and illustrious career in your sector, just one page is enough to get the message across. Don’t forget recruiters hiring for higher-end positions are going to have to read a lot of in-depth letters and are going to be pressed for time. A letter that extends over several pages is unlikely to attract as much interest as it perhaps deserves. Your resume will be the part of your application doing the most heavy lifting.
How to Choose the Best Cover Letter
Professional resume and cover letter combinations often depend most on the type of job and the sector that you’re targeting. This will influence what information you include on both the resume and the cover letter. However, there are still many types of covering letter to choose from, which include:
- Entry Level Cover Letter: Good for first jobs and career changes
- Basic Cover Letter: A good choice for candidates targeting lots of different jobs in different sectors at one time
- Creative Cover Letter: Best for jobs that require more innovation and creativity
- Academic Cover Letter: An ideal cover letter format for doctorate courses and university tenure positions
- Professional Cover Letter: The best choice for more experienced professionals and candidates with long work histories in one sector
Once you’ve chosen the style of letter that you’re going to target a job with it’s also important to choose a good design. This is especially important with professional cover letters. A good design not only attracts the eye of recruiters better, but they also give a sense of your personal brand. This could be achieved with something as simple as a well-designed header.
Professional Cover Letter Examples
When most people sit down to apply for a new job, the question that’ll often be asked is what does a professional cover letter look like? What we can see in our own example of a professional cover letter is that it doesn’t differ much from any other kind of formal letter. What is particular, however, is the content and the key points that the writer squeezes in:
502 Victoria Court
Gray, Maine, 04039
2137 Upton Avenue
Bangor, Maine, 04401
I wanted to make contact with you to register my interest in the Key Account Manager position with Eagle insurance that is currently being advertised on LinkedIn. During my 8 years in the insurance business, Eagle is a company I’ve always admired and I would relish the opportunity to become a part of the team.
As you can see in our example introduction paragraph the writer spends more time talking about the company than about themselves. They use their opening gambit to praise the company and explain how they came across the opportunity.
My goal is and always has been to get the best out of my staff and create the best experience for the most high profile clients. That’s why over the last 3 years of working with Ajax Mutual I’ve overseen a 95% retention rate and helped to increase sales by as much as 12%.
Problem-solving is a skill that I know Eagle values highly and it is something I pride myself on. Your 4.8 star customer satisfaction rating stands as a testament to your ability to respond properly to your client’s needs and I would love to bring my experience to help you achieve even better results.
Now that the candidate and the company have been formally presented in the introductory paragraph, now comes the time to get down to business. They state exactly what they’ve achieved in their most recent position and tie that in with the prospecitive employer’s goals. Let’s now look at how they bring this all to a conclusion:
I would be more than happy to talk in more depth on what I can bring to Eagle in this position. Please feel free to contact me on 207-440-4475 if you would be interested in meeting for an interview.
Thank you for taking my application into consideration and I hope we can talk more about the opportunity soon.
In the last section, our candidate then starts to angle for an interview with the company. They restate their enthusiasm and lay out ways for the hiring manager to easily contact them. This is sure to be a plus to the recruiter as it does much of their job for them.
Professional cover letters don’t need you to be a professional writer. However, if you’re wondering how to make a professional cover letter easily you can save a lot of time with a cover letter builder. This will help you choose the template that best suits your career experience and pick out a beautiful design that is going to get you noticed.