While some may say that the cover letter is becoming obsolete, others use it to stand out from other applicants.
Think of it this way: your resume is a fact sheet with bullet points detailing your skills and experience.
Your cover letter, on the other hand, is your chance to “speak” with your potential employer. You have the chance to introduce yourself, explain why you’re a good fit, and show your enthusiasm for the job. With just your cover letter, you’ll convey your personality, your communication skills as well as your passion for what you do.
Keep in mind that your letter should be personalised to each job application. Never start the letter with “To whom it may concern,” or “Dear Sir/Madam,” especially when the hiring manager’s name is included in the job description. Mention the job that you’re applying for and why you’re interested. Show them that you’ve done your research by mentioning how your skills match what they’re looking for.
The essential elements
While formats vary depending on where you look, the essential content is standard. Your cover letter should have:
- Your name and contact details
- The contact person’s name and business address
- The date
- A greeting. Address the hiring manager by name. If the contact person’s name is Angela Tan, the salutation should be “Dear Ms Tan,” and not “Hi Angela.”
- A reference line with the title of the position you’re applying for.
- A short, to the point opening statement to explain why you’re writing. You could mention where you saw the job advertised. If you were referred, name your contact here.
- A paragraph summarising why you’d be a good fit. Specify how many years of experience you have and highlight the most relevant skills to the job advertised.
- Tell prospective employers what it would be like to work with you by stating some personal qualities.
- A closing paragraph that includes information on how they can contact you.
Check out the cover letter below to get some inspiration.
2, Jalan Dwa 2
Lorong 2 Dwa,
22222 Kuala Lumpur
Company One Sdn Bhd
1, Jalan Wan 1
Lorong 1 Wan,
11111 Kuala Lumpur
3 January 2017
Dear Ms Wong,
Re: Application for Service Desk Lead position
I’m writing to apply for the advertised Service Desk Team Lead position with Company One.
I have seven years of experience as a service desk agent, with the last four years employed as a Senior Service Desk Representative at my current company. As a senior, I am responsible for supervising a team of eight junior service desk agents in providing troubleshooting and solutions for operating systems and network issues. I am experienced in conducting complex research around customer experience, and play a key role in process and policy development.
As a senior representative, I am known for my excellent leadership qualities, mentoring abilities, and cross-cultural management skills. Additionally, I am motivated, enthusiastic, and passionate about ongoing strategic development.
My resume is attached for your perusal. I hope you’ll give me an opportunity to talk more about how my skills and experience can help Company One achieve its customer service goals. I can be contacted at +60123456789 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.