How to write a cover letter for a first job?

I’m applying for a job at mobile application development company, this will be my first job and i have no experience. I’ve written out a resume but they also want a cover letter. How should i start the cover letter, include in it and finish it and are there any examples.

I’ve looked at cover letter samples but most of them are either for specific jobs (like a journalist, accountant, receptionist, teacher etc.) or show people who have had experience.

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!

2 Answers


  1. A cover letter is a message of introduction accompanying another important document (such as a resume, curriculum vitae or business proposal), explaining to the recipient why the document that follows is important and motivating to read it.

    Major uses of cover letters

    Major uses of cover letters include college application, employment and business. The different uses have different requirements for the format and main parts of cover letters:

    College application

    A cover letter is not always required as a compulsory element of the application package. However, even if an institution doesn’t require a cover letter, it can be an advantage, introducing an applicant to the committee and making him/her stand out from the crowd of competitors.

    The following are the goals of a cover letter accompanying other application documents:

    1. Introducing the applicant to the university.
    2. Catching attention of the admission officers.
    3. Arising readers’ interest by listing the qualifications and special achievements of the candidate.
    4. Addressing the letter to a particular group of people – the admission board.

    The cover letter included in the application package should not be confused with a personal essay (or application essay). In contrast to the personal statement, cover letter is shorter and only briefly states the applicant’s achievements and major goals.

    Employment

    Sending a cover letter is a standard for the employment practices. When sending resumes to their potential employers, applicants include clarifying cover letters for the following purposes:

    1. Explaining why the applicant is sending a resume (stating the target position);
    2. telling specifically how the applicant learnt about the position (advertisement/ word of mouth etc.);
    3. convincing the reader to look through the resume or curriculum vitae;
    4. emphasizing the details of the applicant’s background relevant to the opened position and making the applicant a good candidate;
    5. including any useful information which can’t be covered in a resume, such as the candidate’s availability date or the links to portfolios (if applicable).

    Not sending a cover letter can confuse the recipients and even make them entirely ignore the message.

    Business

    Cover letters can accompany business proposals, briefly summarizing the content of the project and pointing out at its significance and potential benefits of its results.

    Cover letter types

    The two main types of cover letters are the letters of application and the letters of inquiry. The letter of application is used to apply for an advertised opening, when an applicant knows for sure that a company has an opened position. The letter of inquiry is used when an applicant isn’t certain that there are certain employment opportunities but wants to show interest in working for a particular employer and asks the company if there is a possibility of opening.

    Email and hard copy correspondence share similar requirements as to the form, tone and content of cover letters. The three main differences between emails and hard copies are the following:

    • Signature block (address and other contact info) is placed below the applicant’s name in email but at the top of the page in hard copy letters.
    • Subject line is applicable only to emails though some hard copy letters may include subject lines, placed after the address info but before the “Dear sir/madam” part.
    • Handwritten signature is applicable only to hard copy correspondence, whereas emails include only “Best regards”, “Sincerely yours” etc. signatures.

    Main parts

    Regardless of the cover letter type and specific purposes, its logical structure includes the following parts:

    1) The Purpose – 1st paragraph

    Why the applicant is writing:

    • The full address and contact info at the top.
    • The name of the position.
    • The place where the applicant has found out about it.
    • Showing interest and evidence of prior research about the company.

    2) The Proof – 2nd paragraph

    What makes the applicant a perfect candidate:

    • Specific qualifications, achievements and experience relevant to the job description.
    • Any projects and collaborations which might be not mentioned on the resume.

    3) The Closing – 3rd paragraph

    What the applicant wants:

    • Listing the enclosed documents.
    • A polite request for an interview.
    • Inviting the recipient to look through the attached documents.

    In more detail, a cover letter includes the following elements:

    Heading (left-aligned or centre-aligned)

    • Contact info (phone number, email and fax)
    • Applicant’s name
    • Local address

    Date

    Month/day/year

    The direct address to the recipient

    • Name and title of a specific person (if possible)
    • Company address

    The layout

    • Blank space between the heading and the recipient’s name (Dear Mr. Doe)
    • Blank space between the different paragraphs
    • Three spaces between the closing (‘best regards’) and the applicant’s name

    Format

    The main format requirements include proper readability and overall recipient’s convenience. The recommended font is 10 – 12 points, Arial, Calibri, Sans Serif or Times New Roman. The margins of about 1.5 inches look neat and appropriate.

    The following is a cover letter sample, which illustrates the main constituting parts and most appropriate formatting:

    Michael Jordan
    463 Beacon Street
    Boston, MA 02115
    (617) 123-4567
    johndoe@aol.com
    March, 13, 2014

    Mr. Doe
    Top HR Manager
    McDonald’s

    Dear Mr. Doe, I am interested in the position of a customer care assistant at your store advertised on the college board. I accepted this position because of the emphasis on communication skills and natural drive to engage with new people and make them feel welcome. As I live in the dorm, I have extensive experience of meeting new people and understanding their moods and needs.
    In response to your search for a customer care assistant, I believe my intercultural experience of a study abroad program I’ve spent in Japan might help me quickly become engaged into the atmosphere of your department to provide clients with friendly and personal service. To provide more details on the details of my background I am enclosing my resume. I hope you will consider me for this opening. I look forward to discussing my qualifications in more detail at a personal interview.

    Sincerely,

    Signature

    Michael Jordan

    milgramjack
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  1. A cover letter is a letter in which you give additional information about yourself.

    Basically, a cover letter is a part of your resume:

    A cover letter for a resume is a letter in which you add more details about your experience, linking it to the position you are applying for and explaining why you are a perfect candidate for it.

    Your cover letter for IT or any other job or position contained these details:

    Addressing: Hello, World!

    Greet the addressee (say, John Doe) and explain what you are writing the letter for.

    Showing Your Interest: I’m Excited

    Show how delighted you are about the idea of working for Mr. Doe.

    Drawing the Readers’ Attention: Check This Out!

    State something that will help Mr. Doe single your letter out of a bunch of similar ones.

    Telling People about Yourself: Who Am I?

    Offer the most relevant information about yourself (about 3 short sentences).

    Telling People about Your Experience: I’ve Seen…

    List your most important experience that is relevant to the application.

    Providing Proof of Your Skills: Here’s Evidence!

    Offer colorful and striking examples of your experience and skills.

    Mentioning the Practice You’ve Had: So I’ve Learned…

    List the key skills you’ve acquired, courses you’ve taken and issues you’ve learned.

    Thank for the Attention: Nice to Meet You!

    Thank Mr. Doe for his precious time.

    Be Enthusiastic about Further Communication: Keep in Touch

    End your paper with a phrase like “Looking forward to our future cooperation.”

    That’s how cover letter writing works!

    Examples of a cover letter:

    What is a cover letter for a resume? What is a cover letter for a job?
    Dear Mr. Johnson,
    I am writing to you concerning the proposed position of web developer. I will be able to offer several useful ideas that will help your company develop faster.
    I have created 11 web applications so far, 7 of which helped such influential companies as TechnoWorld and Virtual Universe.
    In addition, I am currently working to improve my web analysis skills to the highest current standards.
    I believe that, with my suggestions, your company will become much more popular among customers.
    Thank you for taking your time to check my CV. I am looking forward to your reply.
    Sincerely Yours,
    N. Jameson.
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am highly interested in your job proposal and will be delighted to work in your company as a software professional. C++ is my native language.
    I know Visual Basic and Java as well. After working for a year at GoodComputer Co., I have learned to deal with most of the frequently occurring programming problems.
    In case you are interested, you can take a look at several samples of programming code that I wrote.
    Moreover, I am currently learning computer modeling techniques to create a new 3D modeling program.
    Thank you for considering also my attached CV. Looking forward to our mutually beneficial collaboration,
    B. Johnson.
    djopro djopro
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