Creating a top-notch cover letter - Full guide


Sat, 09/10/2022 - 12:36

You have been on a job hunt for quite some time. You have been visiting various job search websites, contacting your networks, etc. So, after a long search, you have finally short-listed all the coolest jobs that you want to apply for. You have created your resume perfectly. You have also trained yourself with all the possible interview questions and answers.

But while applying for a job, you saw in a job description that the employees require a cover letter. Now you wonder if you've mentioned all the important details in your resume, then why the recruiters are asking for your cover letter? Is a cover letter even important? How are resumes and cover letters different?

Now, after all these preparations, you are panicking because you don’t have a cover letter. Well, worry not. Shri Resume will help you create a top-notch resume that will boost your chances of getting selected for the next level of your interview round. Write to email-  [email protected].

But before that, let’s know what is a cover letter.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a one-page application document that you pair up with your resume and submit as a part of your job application. This application letter explains to you why you are eager to join that company and why you are the right fit for their job role.

Cover letters help you to briefly summarize your professional background and demonstrate why hiring you is a smart decision. Usually, cover letters are about 3 paragraphs long (250 to 400 words) and include specific examples from your experience that make you qualified for the position.

Not always do recruiters ask for a cover letter. But sometimes they do ask for a cover letter to evaluate your skills, passion, and experience.

Importance of Cover Letters.

Cover letters are crucial in your job selection process. A perfect cover letter will grab the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. On the other hand, a bad cover letter might get you rejected straight away. So before sending your cover letter, make sure it’s good enough to get you selected for the next phase of your interview process.

It is very crucial to know how to write a convincing cover letter. Your application letter explains the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identifies your most relevant skills. Also, your cover letter should let the employer know what position you are applying for, what makes you a strong candidate, why they should select you for an interview, and how you will follow up.

But before that pick the right cover letter template. Your cover letter is your first impression of the recruiter. So, what is a better way to impress them than a well-formatted, and well-designed cover letter? The right cover and letter design will say a lot about you as a candidate and can immediately make a good impression and stand out from the competition. They will convince your recruiter you’re the perfect fit for the job, so chose a cover letter template that truly showcases your skills and achievements.

What are all the things you should include in a cover letter?

Begin with a professional cover letter header

Start creating your cover letter with the basics: your contact information and that of the hiring manager. Usually, cover letters follow the business letter format which means that those details need to go in the top left corner of the page.

All those professional cover letters for a job application include the following things in the header, in this order:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • The date
  • The hiring manager’s name and designation
  • The organization’s name and address to which you’re applying

Also, if you want you can include these optional sections:

  • Your professional title after your name
  • Your home addresses
  • your professional website or online portfolio’s link
  • Your social media account’s a link (only LinkedIn and/or Twitter)
  • Your city of residence (it’s not mandatory, but still consider including them in the cover letter as it adds a professional touch)

Written below are some tips to make your cover letter more professional.

Always use the email address of a respected provider, i.e., either from Gmail or your domain (if you have one). Remember your email should only include your first and last name. Adding anything else other than your name sounds unprofessional and might get you rejected. Never use your current work address to send your email cover letter. It will be disrespectful to both your current and potential future employer. Before sending your cover letter make sure that your contact information is correct, across your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles. If you don’t find the hiring manager's name and job title, then in the addressee section, add only the department's name. For example: “XYZ Marketing Department.”

Create a proper salutation in the beginning

To whom should you address your cover letter?  Most likely, the very first thing your hiring manager will see is the salutation in your cover letter. Hence it is one of the most important parts of your cover letter. So, what’s the proper way to create one great, never-failing strategy to make your greeting grab their attention? Well, including their name in the salutation. According to studies, when we hear or see our name, we react positively and focus on what comes next. So, seeing their name in your cover letter makes the recruiter feel as if they’ve found something tailored just for them. Now the real question is, how do you find out the hiring manager’s name?


You can also consider the below-written ideas to find information about your hiring manager.

  1. Check the job ad repeatedly until you make sure the name is not in it. Otherwise, you might end up looking unprofessional and uninterested.
  2. Look carefully at the email address in the job description. Search their name mentioned in their or their domain name. you’ll likely get your manager’s full name.
  3. Go through the company’s website. They might have mentioned the department on the company's staff page. Try looking in there.
  4. If you couldn’t find their full name on the website, then check LinkedIn.  If someone posts a job description, then LinkedIn will verify the one who did the posting. Also, check the company page or do a LinkedIn company search.
  5. Ask friends. If you have got contacts from the company. You can try a Facebook shout-out as well.
  6. If everything else fails try then the only option left is calling. Call the company’s reception and enquire about the person whom you should contact for that job posting

If you still couldn’t find the name in any of these ways, opt for "Dear Hiring Manager". Don’t start your cover letter by mentioning "to whom it may concern" or “Dear Sir/Madam” as no one likes to be addressed in this way.

Below written are some examples that you can consider:

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear Marketing Team Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Company Name] Team,

Now, the header and greeting section is complete. Now it’s time for the most crucial part of your cover letter; the central paragraphs. You need to get them right to impress the recruiters. Use this three-paragraph cover letter outline:

  • The first paragraph to seize the recruiter’s attention
  • The second is to mention your skills and accomplishments.
  • The third is to show that you are a good fit for the job role.

Write a compelling summary about yourself

The summary section is your chance to impress the recruiter. whether or not the hiring manager will read the rest of your application depends on how you craft these few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter. So, it’s crucial to make sure that your cover letter introduction attracts and holds the hiring manager’s attention.

But how to write a compelling summary?

Have a look at these two-sample cover letter opening paragraphs:

Example- 1

“I’ve been an enthusiast of sales and marketing initiatives. So I was really excited when I saw your job posting for the position of Digital Marketing Manager. I am a skilled professional and I’m positive, I can help with XYZ’s upcoming challenges. I have worked with leading successful national online campaigns with budgets over ₹2,20,00,000. I also worked with ABCs and have succeeded in expanding their client base by 20% since 2017.”

Written here is a well-written cover letter opening example.


“Saw your job posting for the Digital Marketing Manager, and in response to it, I would like to express my intention to join the recruitment process. Since I’ve been working as a Digital Marketing Manager position for the last 10 years, I’m pretty sure that I would be successful in this role.”

What is so wrong with this example?

The second example doesn’t provide any details and hence has no value. Also, the paragraph ended with, ‘I’ve experience in this job, so I think I’d fit in.’ That’s not what the hiring manager is looking for. They want candidates with measurable achievements that prove their skills and expertise, and that’s exactly what the correct example above shows.

Also, highlight your achievements, and show how well you know the company’s needs. If you’re a fresher, base the intro on your enthusiasm and transferable skills.

Show them how you are the best fit for the job role.

You finally see a job opening from the company you were always eager to join. The job opening is also the same as your current position. So far, you have been a very successful professional. So now you are curious about what all the skills you should mention in your cover letter that will boost the chances of your selection? Well, all you need to do is highlight your best assets in the second paragraph of your cover letter. Mention those accomplishments that the hiring managers want to see. You did not just have to mention the right skills, but that you’re going to use them to satisfy the company’s specific needs.

Put Your Offer in the Closing Paragraph

Remember, hiring managers have needs. They will only hire you if they feel like you have the right skills to do the work. Also at the same time, they want you to enjoy working with them and want your future job to be rewarding for you. By doing these they know you’re more likely to stay with them for longer.

So, in the third paragraph of your cover letter, the key is expressing to the hiring manager why you chose to apply for this particular job, not just any job. If you are a fresher, it is important to mention these details when writing your entry-level cover letter. Enthusiasm and passion help to show you'll hit the ground running. And also, you definitely want to avoid creating too much of a general cover letter. Generic cover letters don’t win jobs, tailored and targeted does.

Use a Right Formal Closing for your Cover Letter

You have mentioned all the relevant skills required for doing the job. You have also shown your eagerness to join the company. What else is left now? Indeed, a lot. Well, you still have to write the cover letter ending right, which is one of the most determining parts of your cover letter. It should put some of the general impression you’ve made with the previous paragraphs. It should make the recruiters excited, so they start reading your resume. Focus on providing value to your cover letter. Show the hiring managers, how eager you are to meet them in person and discuss about how your experience and knowledge can help your future employer reach their goals.

Things to consider while creating a cover letter

Have the right cover letter formatting

A professional cover letter format is normally:

  • 200–350 words
  • single-spaced
  • A4 (elsewhere) page size

All the letters should be in standard cover letter font like Arial or Calibri and the font size should be between 10.5 and 12 points (make sure it’s readable). Also, the margins of the cover letter should be between 1″ and .5″ on each side to make sure that your letter is easy to read. All the contents should be left-aligned except for your contact details, which can be centered. Maintaining a good cover letter won’t win you the job, but it can make you look like an amateur if it looks bad.

Simplify your writing

The most common mistake that a lot of candidates do while creating a cover letter is writing long, formal sentences. Usually, cover letters for a resume should be easy to read, confident, and friendly. So, use these tips to improve your writing tone for your cover letter.

  • Instead of writing "do not", use contractions like "don‘t"
  • Steer clear of clichéd terms and expressions like "dynamic," "outside the box," and "go-getter."
  • Using plain, straightforward language like "useful" rather than "advantageous."

Proofread carefully

Employers will have a bad opinion of your cover letter if it contains typos and grammar mistakes.

Here are some quick tips that editors use to find errors:

  • You must carefully evaluate each word, sentence, paragraph, and punctuation mark when reading your writing aloud. Additionally, you'll spot difficult-to-read sentences and correct them as appropriate.
  • Alter the typeface: A fresh font makes your brain work harder to understand something that is unfamiliar. You can catch errors you might otherwise miss by changing the font and size of your cover letter.
  • Have someone else read your cover letter once you've read it aloud. They can offer insightful criticism, such as whether your message is precise and well-reasoned, or hazy and overflowing with platitudes. They'll also (hopefully) catch any minor spelling and grammar mistakes you overlooked.

Keep it brief.

A lot of the information out there advises you to keep your cover letter to one page or less. It’s better if you keep it shorter. A lot of time recruiters have seen that most cover letters are enough long for someone to skim over them. So, while creating a cover letter, remember that you must cover a lot about yourself but do it briefly. At this point, having a friend, mentor, or former coworker look through your letter can be beneficial. Ask them to read it through and identify any areas where you can make cuts.

Observe the tone.

However, also be careful not to overdo the flattery or say anything unintentionally. Genuineness is essential. Even if you've been jobless for months and would accept any position at this point, Lees advises not coming across as desperate. Be mature and professional to avoid having your tone detract from your message. Put yourself in the hiring manager's position and consider "the kind of language that the hiring manager would use with one of the company's clients" as a general rule of thumb. Naturally, it can be challenging to determine your tone in writing, so you might need to have a draught reviewed by someone else (which is always a good idea; see the suggestions below).

Related blogs