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Ultimate guide on how to structure a cover letter

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Ultimate guide on how to structure a cover letter

by CVMaker

  • Cover letter
  • · November 09 2022
  • · 3 min read
how to structure a cover letter

Table of contents

Are you looking for simple tips on how to structure a cover letter? Let us assist you and explain what you need to include in each part. If you need to attach a CV alongside your cover letter, consider using our CVMaker writing service. It offers ATS-friendly and tailor-made CVs and cover letters. You can choose from one of the 20+ professional templates. With our pro subscription, you can use our built-in job finder tool, making it much easier to look at and apply for jobs in one place.

Application Tracking System (ATS) is software for employers to manage, filter out, and track candidates via the hiring and recruitment process. In a nutshell, larger companies tend to employ these automation procedures to scan CVs and cover letters to identify ideal candidates that have relevant qualities. Companies and recruiters use an ATS to save time during the application process.

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To create a well-designed cover letter, ensure following the next steps:

  • Planning

  • Research and data collection

  • Creating a master CV

  • Keyword research based on the job vacancy page

  • Designing a tailor-specific CV

  • Proofreading and editing 

Cover letter structure 

Keep your cover letter short, thus highlighting your feasibility for the role. Throughout your writing, avoid using personal pronouns such as 'me', and 'we' as it may come across as unprofessional. Consider dividing your cover letter into the following sections:

First paragraph

The initial statement should specify why the letter is being written. Start by defining the role you are interested in, how you came into contact with the opening, and when you are ready to start.

Second paragraph

Discuss why you are right for the role, what drew you to this form of work, why you are interested in working for the organisation and what you can contribute to the business.

Third paragraph

Highlight appropriate experience and indicate how the basic criteria of the job requirements complement your skills. Outline any additional abilities and clarify how those would support the organisation.

Last paragraph

Complete your letter using the closing paragraph. Reaffirm your enthusiasm for the job and demonstrate your wish for a personal meeting. Note any dates which are unsuitable for you. Finish off by thanking the recruiter and telling them how you look forward to getting an answer.

Tips to better structure your cover letter

With employers typically receiving high numbers of applications for each position, ensure your cover letter gives a powerful impact and positive impression straight off the bat. Here are a few suggestions that will boost your likelihood of succeeding:

Tailor the cover letter to the vacancy

To align your cover letter with the company, update it each time you apply for a job. For all applications, submitting a standardised cover letter rarely delivers positive outcomes, and recruiters can notice the lack of time and energy from a mile away. So, tailor all your cover letters to every specific opening.

Thorough proofreading

Never depend on a proofreading program for every other typo. Double-check for grammatical and spelling errors before submitting it to a member of your family or friend to look at. Make sure your contact information and the company's name are also right.

KISS: Keep it Simple and Stupid

Presentation is essential, so you'll need to type your cover letter accurately. Ensure the letter is as clean and simple as possible, and use the same font and size in your CV.

Show off your qualifications

Recognise your qualities. They are your exclusive unique selling points. Be confident in what you're about to contribute, and explain clearly how your qualifications and experience fulfil the job description criteria. Show yourself why you're the right choice.

Back up your claims with numbers and statistics

Back up your arguments with facts or references in your cover letter illustrating how and when you have used your knowledge and expertise. Use your work experience or achievements sections to elaborate on them in one-two line focusing on key results.

Once you've completed all the above steps and ensured your cover letter is neat and ready to go, start applying! Your cover letter should be engaging yet concise to the recruiter or hiring manager. Always keep in mind your target audience, making sure whatever you say matches your reader's expectations. Our CVMaker wishes all the best to you on your career path. Following our tips and structure, you'll get one step closer to landing your job interview and piercing through the UK job market. 

Check

DOs

  • Tailor your cover letter to the company's vacancy post

  • Let it be short and precise

  • Get it compelling, and capture the recruiter's attention

  • Read thoroughly, repeatedly, and aloud

  • Ask for peer review to catch any minor grammar mistakes or typos.

  • Use a suitable professional layout format

Close

DONTs

  • Use personal pronouns such as 'I', 'me', 'we', 'us'

  • Avoid listing irrelevant activities such as hobbies and interests

  • Avoid lengthy sentences and sophisticated vocabulary

  • Use the outdated cover letter for a new application

  • Focus on what the company would offer you instead of vice versa

  • Use the outdated cover letter for a new application

  • Focus on what the company would offer you instead of vice versa

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Updated November 09 2022

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