Do recruiters even read cover letters?
Are cover letters worth writing? Should cover letters be included with your resume? Yes. Absolutely, yes. And in this post we will share what we hope you will agree is the best cover letter template. In a prior post, we shared the reasons why you should include a cover letter. We talked about the goal of the cover letter and what to include so you can practically guarantee that your letter will be read. In addition, we discussed how this letter, when properly, written can generate momentum for you as a candidate before the reader views your resume. Yes, cover letters should always be included.
In this post, we share with you what we believe (based on our years of experience) to be the most effective cover letter template. If you’re not sure where to start, naturally Career Tracker has your back with our very own free Cover Letter Creator that makes it super simple for you to whip this baby out. Anything underlined is a field you can fill in just like good ol’ Mad Libs. When you’re done, just click the PDF button and you can download or print it out.
The goal of this template
- Make it as easy as possible for the reader (recruiter) to recognize you are answering the most important requirements of the job.
- Generate momentum so the reader is thinking positively about you as a candidate before they see your resume. This is the introduction that gets them excited. It’s like the warm up guy or gal at a comedy show – he or she may not be the main attraction, but by the time Dave Chappelle takes the stage you are ready to laugh at even the mildly funny jokes.
Less is really more here. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t have the time to read hundreds of resumes and cover letters. We want to enable them to take a quick scan of your cover letter and recognize that you are qualified.
With the best cover letter template, you are purposeful about what you are presenting. You are going to bold a few sentences in the body of the letter to make the important words and phrases pop. Then, you are going to indent your plagiarized (meaning you took them straight from the job description) bullets and customized qualifications so they are easy to read. Bullets present much cleaner than paragraphs where information becomes lost.
Note: this only works if you are actually qualified. So don’t take the bullets from the job description and paste them into your cover letter if you can’t back them up. If you get the interview, this will only result in embarrassment and a bad reputation. Recruiters know each other – you’d be surprised what a tight knit group of (super cool) people they are 😉
Best cover letter template
Your job posting is looking for the following 3 qualifications:
- (a) Qualification #1 plagiarized from the job posting
- (a) Qualification #2 plagiarized from the job posting
- (a) Qualification #3 plagiarized from the job posting
As you can see from my enclosed resume/cv I have the following experience:
- (b) Qualification #1 from your resume that answers the job posting
- (b) Qualification #2 from your resume that answers the job posting
- (b) Qualification #3 from your resume that answers the job posting
The key to writing the best cover letter is to figure out what the hiring manager is really looking for. The quickest way to determine the most important requirements and type of experience they’re looking for is to identify the most important bullets from the job posting or job description. These are usually the very first 2-3 bullets under experience or skills. If your cover letter plagiarizes these bullets, the hiring manager and recruiter will immediately recognize the bullets they wrote and included in their job posting.
Key Takeaway: Write an easy-to-read cover letter that gives the hiring manager exactly what they are looking for. They will silently thank you for it, which will make them unconsciously like you just a little bit more, and this will generate momentum. Momentum drives them to look at your resume and maybe even give it a few more seconds. These extra seconds are what get you to the next step. Just like football is a game of inches, the job search is a game of seconds. Write that down.
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