How to write a successful cover letter for your job application:
A great cover letter for a job application will grab the employer’s attention. How? It only needs 1 thing. But many forget to include this. That is: focus on the employer. Your cover letter should show that you deeply understand the employer.
It’s about what you can do for the company.
Although cover letters/emails might not be read by all recruiters, many still expect to receive one. Once you have been contacted by Lionstep for a potential job, we will guide your application process by letting you know more about the employer and whether a cover letter, or maybe even a video application, is suitable.
We summarized 5 important tips to make your cover letter stand out from potentially hundreds or even thousands of others.
1. Formatting and structure matter:
Maintain a clear structure that makes your cover letter scannable. Use paragraphs to separate key parts and include bold titles. Most importantly: keep it short. The shorter, the more likely it will be read (since hiring managers have a lot of cover letters to read through).
A usual format:
- Date & Contact Information: Full name, email address (make sure it’s professional), phone number, linkedin profile (optional) and mailing address (optional)
- Introduction: Grab the attention & show motivation/intention of applying
- Body paragraph/s: Explaining competence to show what you’ve got to offer (relevant experience, accomplishments, skills)
- Conclusion: A concise call to action (asking the hiring manager to contact you)
2. Be personal. Explain your motivation and convey enthusiasm for the company
If possible, address the hiring manager by their name and don’t generalize the salutation. If you were referred to this job by a colleague, you can also highlight the mutual connection.
Employers want to find talents who are truly interested in working for the company and are not just looking for “another job”. For recruiters, motivation/passion demonstrates potential for productivity and loyalty. Key values recruiters look for in your cover letter: positive attitude, strong work ethic, self-motivation, responsibility, professionalism, adaptability, honesty
How to do it:
- Research the company: Check if there is any relevant news. Show evidence that you have actually done some research. You can mention a great article/congratulate on a new funding round, etc.
- Grab the attention: Explain which role you are applying for & what makes you a suitable candidate for the role. Explain what you admire about the company you’re applying to.
- Explain why the industry is relevant to you: You can share a great resource you found or recent skill you learned. What are the main challenges in the industry/company? Demonstrate that you researched and understand this.
3. Lead with impressive accomplishments that mirror the job description
Check out the job description once more. What specific tasks or tools are you familiar with that are relevant to the actual job responsibilities? When addressing your accomplishments, try to cross-reference this to answer the job requirements. Recruiters look for talents that will have a highly positive impact on the business.
How to do it:
- Don’t duplicate your CV: be specific in the information you chose to share in the cover letter
- Focus on the company needs/goals of the job and provide accomplishments that signify that you are the right person for the job: What hard/transferable skills and achievements do you have that prove you are able to perform this role?
- If you know the company has a particular problem you could help solve, outline how you would do that.
- Provide context when mentioning accomplishments: insights into the: process – how you got to reach an outcome, actual results, breadth of a role – global or local
4. Mirror the organization’s values and goals in your cover letter
Prove that you’ll fit into the company. But don’t make it seem like you copy pasted the company values from the career page.
How to do it:
- Express your “intrinsic motivation” to do the job by explaining why you feel connected to their vision/mission and the work you’d be doing.
- Mention 1 or 2 facts about the company and why they appeal to you.
5. Conclusion with a call to action
Ideally, your cover letter has already sparked interest in the eyes of the hiring manager. You shouldn’t have to repeat why you’re a good fit. Instead, explain what value you would like to bring and end your cover letter with a call to action.
How to do it:
- Thank the hiring manager for reading your cover letter and resume
- State how you will add value to the organization in 1-2 sentences.
- Repeat your excitement about the opportunity
- Politely ask them or simply state, that you would be happy to talk personally in an interview (CTA: get them to invite you for an interview)
Are you interested in a new challenge? At Lionstep we believe that amazing opportunities will find your way. Become part of the Lionstep talent pool and get connected to industry-leaders, future-shapers and tech-enthusiasts that believe in the power of unstoppable teams.
Want to find out more? Visit our website here.
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