9 tips for writing a compelling cover letter

Posted by Fed Finance Canada in Our employment advice
Posted at 14/03/2022
9 tips for writing a compelling cover letter
Would you like to apply for a job and submit a solid application? You need to start with the basics.

Creating a curriculum vitae (CV) is certainly important. But sending a CV without a cover letter is one of the 5 mistakes to avoid when responding to a job offer.

Note that sending a generic cover letter won't do and that you need to put just as much thought into writing it as your resume. Simply taking a ready-made cover letter from the Internet won't be enough to stand out from the crowd.

Our finance recruitment agency presents 9 tips to help you write a winning cover letter:

  • Keep your cover letter concise
  • Tailor your cover letter to the job offer
  • Avoid repeating information from your CV
  • Pay attention to your spelling
  • Structure your letter coherently
  • Address the letter to the person who will read it
  • Describe yourself without exaggerating or boasting
  • Show your motivation
  • End your cover letter with a call to action

1. Keep your cover letter concise

You should keep your cover letter concise and only include the essentials because employers and recruiters receive multiple CVs every week.

Just like your CV, your cover letter should not surpass one page. Take the time to think about the most important information and make your sentences short and concise.

2. Tailor your cover letter to the job offer

Every job offer is different, and even if positions are similar, the required skills and qualifications are not always the same. You should therefore adapt your cover letter to each job offer you apply for.

Carefully read the description of the job offer you are interested in and identify the skills required. You can then mention the achievements that make you stand out and include them in your letter.

For example, if you are applying for a finance job offer, highlight your management skills and proficiency with different accounting software.

3. Avoid repeating the information on your CV

Your cover letter is a complement to your CV, so it should go beyond the highlights of your resume.

Your cover letter should instead mention your biggest professional accomplishments, qualities that make you an ideal candidate and your motivations and career goals. This will help the recruiter better understand your personal and professional background and determine if they wish to meet you.

4. Spell your words carefully

Even if the content of your letter is amazing, employers probably won’t take you seriously if cover letter is full of mistakes.

Quality of written language is very important when sending an application. A lot of spelling mistakes indicate a lack of professionalism and discipline so make sure your spelling is impeccable.

A little tip: ask a friend or relative with good writing skills to proofread and correct your cover letter. This person can also give you advice regarding the content of the letter and confirm that it corresponds to the job offer.

5. Structure your letter coherently

A simple but effective way to structure your cover letter is to use the "you - me - we" formula. You can then structure it in 3 paragraphs:

  • Start by greeting the person reading your cover letter and mentioning a few relevant things you know about the company. What do you know about the company? What do you like about what you know?
  • Next, mention who you are and what you can bring to the company. Then describe yourself.
  • Finally, try to get the employer to imagine you as a future employee.

6. Address your cover letter to the right person

Your cover letter should always be addressed to someone in particular, ideally the person who will be reading it. Do your research beforehand by using LinkedIn, for example.

7. Describe yourself without exaggerating or boasting

You should use a measured tone when talking about yourself and your skills. Although you need to convince people that you'll do a great job for the position you're applying for, no one wants to read about the exploits of a braggart.

When talking about yourself, include specific, concrete facts. For example, "I am a lawyer who graduated from the University of..., motivated by...", not "I am a lawyer with excellent qualifications and significant experience...".

8. Show your motivation to get the job

If you want to get the job you are applying for, you will probably be competing with people who have similar skills and experience. Sure, a strong resume can help you stand out from other applicants. But one element of your cover letter can make all the difference: your motivation.

You should show how the position motivates you to perform to the best of your ability. You can also illustrate how this motivation will drive the company's success.

9. End your cover letter with a call to action

Finally, the conclusion of your cover letter should be memorable. You should show initiative and demonstrate to the recruiter your interest in the position. 

The best way to do this is by including a call to action at the end of your letter. For example, you can invite the recruiter to contact you to get more information about you. You can also let the recruiter know that you intend to make a call or send a follow-up email to check on the status of your application.

This information will demonstrate your motivation to get the job and your proactivity in the process!

Looking for a rewarding job in finance?

In conclusion, remember to be concise, adapt your letter to the job offer, highlight information not found on your CV, ensure good spelling and conclude with a call to action when writing a cover letter. We hope this advice helps you get the job of your dreams!

At Fed Finance, we want to help you achieve your professional endeavors and the success you deserve. For personalized support in your finance job search, fill our spontaneous application form. It will be our pleasure to help you!