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6 Cover Letter Tips

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Writing a cover letter isn't always easy. You want to stand out, but also want to look serious. In this article you'll read 6 tips for a super good cover letter!

With these 6 tips you write the best cover letter!

Tip 1: Go into the company

Using a standard cover letter considerably reduces your chances of being invited. It's important to make it clear in your letter that you have read. Describe why it seems so nice to work at that company.

For example, is it a company that does a lot in the field of sustainability? Try to address this theme in your letter. Indicate that you're attracted to the sustainable course of the company, and state how you have an affinity with this subject.

By really addressing the company where you're applying in your cover letter, the recruiter or HR manager can see that you're well informed and have done your best to prepare.

A template letter

You can use a certain 'template'. When you send several letters, this can save you a lot of time. Make sure that you always coordinate as much as possible with the company and the position you're applying for.

Tip 2: Go into the function

This way we arrived directly at the second point. Besides writing about the company where you want to work, it's also smart to go into the specific position you're applying for. You do this not only so that the recruiter knows what position you're applying for, but also because it forces you to read the vacancy really well.

Almost all vacancies contain a section with 'work' and a section with 'requirements'.

It's smart to print the vacancy you respond to. You can then use a highlighter to underline all the words that you find interesting in those two parts of the vacancy. You then state exactly those matters in your cover letter.

For example, does the vacancy state that supervising junior employees and trainees is important in the position? Then you can indicate when you apply that you find it interesting and why. For example in the following way:

In my current job I enjoyed supervising a graduate from the university. It seems to me very interesting to do that more often in the future and to further develop myself as an inspirer and mentor. In this way I hope to help young professionals in their career.

With an open cover letter, it's of course not possible to grasp the vacancy. In that case it's advisable to explain your own idea for a position as much as possible.

Tip 3: Sell ​​yourself (but not too much)

A cover letter is also often referred to as a motivation letter. The meaning of the word "motivate" is important here. This can mean two things:

  • Explain something
  • Encourage someone to do something

In this case, both meanings are important. Try to explain in your text why you have applied for that position. What did you like in the vacancy text?

The second meaning of 'motivating' is, as said, 'encouraging someone to do something'. In the case of the cover letter, you want to encourage someone to invite you. So it's not at all strange to 'sell' yourself in your letter. You can do this, for example, by mentioning the successes from your previous jobs (or your studies).

A good example of this is the following paragraph:

In my current position as a junior data analyst I have already taken on several projects. For example, I was responsible for drawing up the KPI plan for the white paper project. The set-up I chose was later also implemented in other projects.

In this way you give a very concrete example of what you can already do. It also provides the recruiter or manager with tools: they can ask you questions about this once they invite you to an interview. So make sure you're honest here so that you can actually answer those questions.

Another good way to present a positive image of yourself is by naming your good qualities. You do this by letting your colleagues speak. So don't write: "I'm a real team player", but "my colleagues describe me as someone who works well and is always ready for others." This way you prevent you from sounding arrogant, and you can still incorporate your good qualities in the text .

Don't go too far

You can also go too far in selling yourself in your cover letter. So don't call an endless list of positive traits or successes. If you do this, you'll appear unbelievable and you'll probably not be invited for an interview.

Tip 4: Avoid cliches

Above you could read the word 'team player'. This is actually such a cliché that it's better not to write it down in those words. And there are more terms that don't make your letter better, but worse. Here are a few examples:

  • Work hard, play hard
  • Teamwork makes the dreamwork
  • No 9 to 5 mentality

Using such clichés ensures that your letter looks like many other job applications that the recruiter has already read. While you want your letter to stand out.

How do you do this? Suppose you think it's really important that you don't have a 9 to 5 mentality. Then be as specific as possible. Write for example:

In my time at [company X] I got used to working with tight deadlines and unexpected projects. Together with colleagues I regularly ordered pizzas and we continued to work until we had finished our work. A high workload doesn't scare me either.

As you can see, this is a lot more informative than the cliché we discussed earlier. Using an example makes it a lot less boring to read. So remember: the more concrete, the better.

Tip 5: Keep your resume

Are there certain things in your resume that are extra important, for example your work experience at a specific company? Then you can state that in your letter.

If you have a 'gap' in your resume, you can also use your letter to write about it. This prevents you from, for example, including your world trip in your resume under the heading 'work experience'. You therefore provide additional information in your cover letter.

In short: your cover letter and your resume must be seamlessly connected. After all, if you're going to apply you send them together.

Tip 6: Have your letter checked

Have you ever won the National Dictation with Philip Freriks? Have you worked as a columnist for the local newspaper for years? Does everyone always ask you to check their texts?

Doesn't matter. Everyone sometimes makes a mistake, including you. So always have someone else read your cover letter before you send it. This way you remove minor spelling and typing errors before the company you enjoy working with sees them.

These were the 6 tips for the best cover letter!

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