You only get one chance to make a first impression during a job application, and your cover letter is that chance. It is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your best chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. In fact, 83% of hiring managers, recruiters and human resources specialists shared that cover letters were key in influencing hiring decisions.

Ultimately, the goal of a cover letter is to persuade the reader to review your resume and invite you to interview for the role. Here are some tips on how to write a winning cover letter, from ULC, a leading English language school in Singapore for professionals

1. Identify A Suitable Cover Letter To Send

With different types of cover letters that applicants can send, the first step to on how to write an outstanding cover letter is to choose a suitable cover letter style to use. A useful tip is to get started is to identify the purpose of your cover letter. If you are applying for specific job openings, you can go ahead with the traditional cover letter. But if someone is referring you for a job, you should write a referral cover letter instead. Letters of interest and cold contact cover letters can be used when you ask about possible job openings at companies even if they did not list any. 

2.  Differentiate It From Your Resume

A common question people ask when learning how to write a cover letter is, “Can it be the same as my resume?” But your cover letter is not meant to be an extension of your resume. The main goal of your cover letter is to pique the interest of the potential employer who will then take a look at your resume. 

While your resume gives detailed information about your qualifications and experience, your cover letter should pick the top two or three skills most relevant to your potential employer and let them know why they should be hiring you. Try including some facts and figures about one or two of your top achievements too without going into too much detail. 

3. Prepare A Unique Cover Letter For Each Job

When you’re applying for jobs, it’s important to take the time to customise your cover letter for each position. Customising the cover letter to suit each job lets the potential employer know that you are interested in that specific posting and shows that you’re not just applying to every job out there. Avoid sending the same generic application to a wide range of job opportunities as it won’t make you stand out amongst the sea of applicants. Instead, take the time to research the company’s culture, values and add some information about how you share the same principles through tangible, real life examples if possible. In addition, make sure that the cover letter is addressed to the correct person if there is a name provided.

While it may seem like a lot of effort, it can make a big difference. For one thing, each cover letter gives you an opportunity to show off your writing and English skills. When you’re able to effectively communicate why you’re a good fit for the job in question, that says a lot about your ability to do the actual job. If you are wondering how to improve your English writing, check out our article for tips on improving business writing. 

4. Focus On Your Strengths And Let Your Personality Shine

Don’t point out your weaknesses or anything you are lacking, but instead, focus on your strengths and why you would be a good fit for the job. Inject your own brand of style into your cover letter and stay away from awkwardly formal corporate English. Start by introducing yourself in a friendly and personable way and be sure to mention any unique skills or qualifications you have that make you a good fit for the position.Use examples to illustrate your points and highlight your strengths, then conclude by thanking the reader for their time and express your interest in the opportunity.

5. Do A Final Check For Formatting, Grammar & Missing Information

With hiring manager having to sift through hundreds of cover letters from applicants, small mistakes can become amplified and make or break your opportunity to be selected for an interview. Nothing says “sloppy” more than a cover letter filled with grammatical and spelling errors. Make sure the letter is written in flawless corporate English and doesn’t contain any errors. Ensuring that you have important details correct such as the right company name and hiring manager’s name is essential too.

Improve Your Business English With ULC

Thinking about how to improve your English writing? Chat with us at ULC to see how we can improve your corporate English to help you excel in your professional career! 

At ULC, we also offer private English lessons, beginner lessons, intermediate courses and online English classes for kids. No matter your preference, level of English or age group, our team of English specialists is more than well-equipped to help you grow to be proficient in English.