Given that your potential employer will merely skim through your resume, you need that extra something to grab their attention, and this is where a cover letter comes to your rescue! As Jodi Glickman, a communications expert, says, “It’s your best chance of getting the attention of the HR person or hiring manager and an important opportunity to distinguish yourself from everyone else.”
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that introduces a job seeker, and sheds light on his work history, professional skills, and shows why the candidate is the most suitable for the job. It is attached to your job application, and it introduces you in a more personal way and complements the information on your resume, elaborating on your skills, and highlighting a selection of your achievements.
One of the most daunting tasks as a fresher straight out of college has got to be looking for a job in your specific industry, and it is possible to land a job of your choice by including a well-written cover letter. Writing a cover letter with no experience can be a challenge when trying to land a job, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Writing a Cover Letter 101
How to Present your Personal Details on a Cover Letter?
While tackling a cover letter, never forget that the first impression is the last impression. It is the perfect opportunity to make a strong and lasting impression on your employer. In the first paragraph, not only should you adopt a formal tone, but also, use short, succinct sentences to introduce yourself.
This section should explain who you are- introduce yourself and let the employer know that you are a fresher in the industry. State the niche you are interested in, and why you got in touch with this specific employer amongst the others. It’s important that you mention the exact position you are applying for, how you discovered the opportunity, and why you think it is a good fit for you.
Structuring a Cover Letter: The Introduction
Lead with a strong opening sentence. “Start with the punch line — why this job is exciting to you and what you bring to the table,” says Glickman. However, do not derail with irrelevant details as recruiters are busy people and do not have the time to read lengthy cover letters. On an average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long. A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume.
It is here that you must mention any connections you have with the organization. For example, if you know a previous intern or alumni who worked for the organization, be sure to mention their name in your introduction, this shows that you’re familiar with the internal dynamics of the organization.
Lastly and most importantly, state why you would want to work for the organization and explain how you are the best fit for the position. End the paragraph by stating how the job will play a pivotal role in fulfilling your career goals.
What to Cover in the Body of Your Cover Letter?
While the introduction gives the recruiter a basic idea of who you are, the body gives him a better and a more detailed understanding of you as a person.
This section of the letter can be challenging as a fresher with little to no experience, you don’t know how to highlight your relevant skills and classroom experience. In such a situation, you must fall back upon the advertisement, pick the keywords which match the characteristics that make you ideal for the job and include those in the cover letter. As you explain why you’re qualified for the position, it’s imperative for you to connect the dots with the employer. You must charm the employer with your strengths and capabilities. You must mention your consistent, high academic track record, any professional associations you belong to and any voluntary work you have undertaken.
The important requirements for the position will most definitely be listed in the job description. You’ll want to make sure you describe how you can deliver on those key priorities. When your experience doesn’t straightforwardly sell you as a perfect fit for the position, focus on your skills instead.
Hiring managers are typically looking for people who are problem solvers. Glickman points out that there are two skills that are relevant to any job: adaptability and the ability to learn quickly. If you have brief examples that demonstrate these skills include those in this paragraph.
People often forget how important it is to write a good cover letter for higher education. While writing such a cover letter, think of it as a competition, try to think of aspects that are unthought-of by your competition. Put only the best in your letter, include a paragraph to highlight your achievements like top publications, invited talks, grants won, edited collections, positions held etc. Follow the rule of writing for people aged 7 to 77, many try to impress by using vocabulary that can be understood only by an expert. Make sure to be clear and write about your research in a way that is comprehensible and easy to understand by a broader readership. Avoid using vague sentences and show information that can be easily verified.
After introducing and highlighting your relevant skills, make sure your conclusion is confident, you want to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Lastly, thank the employer, mention your name, and contact details.
Sample Cover Letters
We have written out some sample cover letters that will sell you as a perfect fit for a particular position and guide you while you list your qualification and achievements.
Sample 1: Application for the Position of a Counsellor
[Mention your details and that of your recruiter.]
Dear Recruiter’s Name,
I am excited to write this letter about the job opening as a counsellor at Brainside. I chanced upon your company’s opening at LinkedIn and upon reading the required qualities, I believe I meet those requisite skills.
I completed my M.A in Psychology from KC College, Mumbai, and have also completed various certificate courses in REBT and CBT which add to my field of expertise. I hold a CGPA of 7.0 and have maintained above-average scores consistently throughout my masters. Being passionate about my subject, I also invested considerable time in assisting senior psychologists.
I have attached my resume and certainly believe that my skills and education qualifications make me fit for the position of counsellor. I assure you that I’ll put my best foot forward and conform with the team.
I’m grateful for this opportunity and waiting in anticipation for discussing the position in detail.
[Thank the recruiter and mention your contact details.]
Sample 2: Cover Letter for an Engineering Fresher
[Enter your personal details and that of your recruiter.]
Dear Recruiter’s Name,
I am very eager to apply for the Engineer post at Planet Research. This position fully encapsulates everything I aspired to achieve as an engineer when I begin my career. Your company’s work is intriguing, and I’ve read extensively about the cutting-edge technology that’s being used. This employment would put me on the proper track to achieving my professional objectives.
I learnt to work in multidisciplinary teams that encompassed both technical and non-technical fields during my prior position as an intern at ABC Tech. I was able to thrive as an excellent communicator, ensuring that all stakeholders’ demands were both properly conveyed to the team and satisfied to the greatest degree of customer satisfaction.
I was able to adopt a new testing method that reduced our beta testing period by up to 18%, allowing our clients to see a completed prototype weeks before our competition. In addition, I am presently preparing for my Fundamentals of Engineering test, which will put me on the route to becoming a Professional Engineer. I aim to improve as a Planet Research employee and as a professional in this job. In my new position, I am eager to work hard to fulfil the demands of the firm.
Thank you for your time. I’m excited to learn more about the Engineer role and Planet Research. My experience qualifies me for this role, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
[Thank the recruiter and mention your contact details.]
Job hunting as a fresher can be a tedious task, but, with the aforementioned tips and tricks it surely will be a cake walk for you!