I’ve had the pleasure of reading hundreds of job applications for positions in my company. While it’s important to go through the process of applying for a job, it’s also important that you write an effective cover letter.
I’m going to let you in on some secrets that I’ve learned after reading so many applications that way you can get your application into the “yes” pile instead of the “no” pile!
|It’s common to feel unqualified for a job you’re interested in, but it’s important to remember that many job postings list ideal qualifications rather than strict requirements.|
|If you’re underqualified for a job, you can still apply by emphasizing your relevant skills and experience, showing enthusiasm for the position and company, and demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow on the job.|
|Researching the company and position thoroughly can help you prepare a strong application and interview, even if you don’t meet all the requirements.|
|Don’t be discouraged by your lack of qualifications – focus on your strengths, transferable skills, and potential for growth.|
|Be honest about any gaps in your qualifications, but emphasize your willingness to learn and your enthusiasm for the role. Remember that many employers value qualities like adaptability, initiative, and a positive attitude as much as technical skills and experience.|
Talk About The Job You Are Applying For
There are many ways to write a cover letter, but here is the formula that we have found works best:
Start by writing a paragraph about yourself and how you discovered the job opening.
Next, talk about what kind of work you do (or want to do). This can include your talents, skills, experiences, and education level.
Then explain why this position is perfect for you! What makes it a good fit? How would your background help the company achieve its goals?
Finally, tell them what their company could expect from hiring someone like yourself! What kinds of results or outcomes would they see if they hired an employee like yourself? Your goal is to convince them that hiring an employee like yourself will make their lives easier
If you’re struggling to find the hiring manager’s name for your cover letter, don’t fret! There are still ways to personalize your letter and make a good impression. Our guide on what to do when you can’t find the hiring manager’s name offers some great tips and tricks to help you out.
Get To The Point
“Do not meet requirements,” that’s all you need to write.
The point is, that you don’t want to waste the hiring manager’s time. You also don’t want to make excuses or use filler words, like “umm” or “like.” Don’t use the passive voice, and don’t use jargon. The more specific you can be in your application letter, the better!
Keep It Short And Sweet
The first paragraph of your cover letter should be a summary of your resume. This paragraph should take up one-third to one-fourth of the entire document and should include all relevant information from your resume.
The second paragraph will summarize all that you have accomplished in terms of accomplishments, awards, and job responsibilities. The third paragraph will describe how you’ve developed specific skills through training or work experience that is relevant to the position for which you are applying.
In the fourth paragraph, bring up any career goals that you have set for yourself based on this specific opportunity at hand. Then conclude with an overview of what education you have received thus far as well as any plans for additional education and training (this part is optional).
You need to be formal. Don’t be lazy and use text-speak, shorthand, or abbreviations in your cover letter. Use proper grammar and punctuation, and write in complete sentences. You should also avoid using words like “like” or “totally” if you can help it these have no place in a professional document like this one.
If you aren’t sure how to format your resume on Microsoft Word (or another word processor), check out our guide on the best way to format resumes for different jobs here!
In order to stand out from other job applicants, it’s important to explain why you’re a good match for the position. Our guide on writing a cover letter that explains why you’re a good match provides some helpful insights and examples to get you started.
Do Your Research
Know the company’s mission, values, and history.
Know the company’s products and services.
Know the company’s competitors.
Understand the location of your employer about other companies that may be hiring for similar positions in a given city or region (e.g., if you’re applying for a position with a tech startup located in San Francisco, also read job listings for other startups in SF).
Get as much information about their culture as possible by reading reviews on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and elsewhere online (and make sure your cover letter addresses this information).
Address The Hiring Manager Personally
Address the hiring manager personally. Don’t use “To Whom It May Concern.”
Use the hiring manager’s title and name, as well as the company’s name, address, and phone number (and email address if it’s listed on their site).
If you can find a way to say something flattering about your past relationship with them or their company in general, do so! Injecting positive energy into a cover letter is always a good idea.
Double Check For Spelling And Grammar Errors
Use the spell check option on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also use a word processing program to do the same thing. The goal is to avoid any embarrassing typos in the letter.
Check for grammar mistakes. This will ensure that your cover letter reads as professionally as possible and that it doesn’t come across as sloppy or careless.
Ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you. This can be a helpful way to catch anything that might have slipped through the cracks during editing.
If you’re not sure about your spelling and grammar skills, consider hiring an editor who specializes in writing documents like this one.
Be honest about your skills and experience. If you’re applying for a position that requires additional education, don’t say that you have it.
If the job involves skills that you only learned recently, tell them about those too! Be honest about your education don’t pretend to have a bachelor’s degree if you have no formal training or education at all (unless of course, this is what they want). Be honest about which jobs/positions/companies are relevant to this one.
Be honest about salary expectations. You should never lie when it comes to salary expectations; even if they want someone willing to work below the industry standard pay rate,
They can usually find that person somewhere else without paying the premium of hiring someone who won’t be around long enough for them to recoup their investment in training costs or other resources devoted toward supporting such an employee’s growth within the company culture.
Be open with how much time off per year (vacation days) as well as sick days per year (sick days) are available at this position level rather than what was given by your previous employer which may not necessarily match up with what would be provided in this new role opportunity…
When discussing why we left our last job(s), focus on how these experiences have prepared us for success here at Company Name™ by highlighting specific accomplishments from each experience instead of dwelling on negative aspects such as “I hated my boss” or “My company went bankrupt.”
Are cover letters really necessary? The answer is yes! Our article on the importance of cover letters explains why cover letters can make a big difference in the job application process and offers some tips on how to write an effective one.
Don’t Overshare Personal Details
In your cover letter, share only facts that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Don’t give away personal details about your life or family.
You should also avoid sharing medical information, religious beliefs, political opinions, or anything else that could be used against you later (for example an employer might not want to hire someone who has a different political affiliation from themselves).
Additionally, it’s always best to remain vague when discussing race and ethnicity as these may not be relevant either. When in doubt about whether or not something is appropriate for your cover letter say nothing at all!
Take Your Time
I know you’re excited to be starting a new job and that it’s tempting to rush through the application process, but take your time. The best way to do this is by asking for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your cover letter, resume or interview skills and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
The more comfortable you are with the process and procedures, the better off you’ll be in the long run so don’t get discouraged if you feel like things aren’t going well at first (they might not!).
Writing a great cover letter can be challenging, but it’s an important part of any job application. Our guide on how to write a cover letter provides some expert advice and practical tips to help you craft a cover letter that will impress potential employers.
Write With A Positive Tone
You should try to sound enthusiastic about the company you are applying to, the position you are applying for, and your skills and experience. Be positive! Don’t write a letter that says things like “I’m not sure this job is right for me” or “I don’t think I’d be very good in this job.” Instead, say something like:
“I think this job would be a great fit for me because of my experience working on projects similar to yours.”
“The duties listed in your job description seem interesting I’m excited by them!”
If you’re unsure whether your cover letter needs a date or not, our article on whether a cover letter needs a date can help clarify things. We’ll explain the purpose of including a date and when it’s appropriate to do so.
It can be tempting to include every detail you can think of in your cover letter, but this only makes it harder for the reader to understand what they are looking at. Make sure that your letter is concise and easy to read while still giving potential employers enough information on why they should hire you over other candidates.
How to Write a Cover Letter When You’re Underqualified: This article provides practical tips and examples for crafting a cover letter that emphasizes your skills and potential, even if you don’t meet all the requirements for a job.
3 Steps to Applying for a Job When You Don’t Meet the Requirements: This article offers a step-by-step guide to applying for a job you may not be fully qualified for, including how to research the company and position, showcase your relevant experience, and address any gaps in your qualifications.
Don’t Meet Requirements? Reasons to Apply: This article explores some of the reasons why you should still apply for a job even if you don’t meet all the requirements, including how to leverage your transferable skills and show your enthusiasm for the role.
How can I write a cover letter that addresses my lack of qualifications?
You can address your lack of qualifications in your cover letter by emphasizing your relevant skills and experience, showing enthusiasm for the position and company, and demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow on the job.
Should I still apply for a job if I don’t meet all the requirements?
Yes, you should still apply for a job if you don’t meet all the requirements. Many job postings list ideal qualifications, but employers may still consider candidates who don’t meet every requirement if they have other strengths and qualities that make them a good fit for the position.
How can I showcase my transferable skills in my job application?
You can showcase your transferable skills in your job application by identifying the skills you have that are relevant to the position, providing specific examples of how you have used these skills in the past, and explaining how they can be applied to the new role.
What should I do if I get asked about my lack of qualifications in an interview?
If you get asked about your lack of qualifications in an interview, be honest and acknowledge any gaps in your experience or education. However, focus on emphasizing your strengths and the relevant skills and experience you do have, and explain how you plan to learn and grow on the job.
How can I prepare for a job interview when I don’t meet all the requirements?
To prepare for a job interview when you don’t meet all the requirements, research the company and position thoroughly, practice answering common interview questions, and focus on preparing examples that demonstrate your relevant skills and experience. Be honest about any gaps in your qualifications, but emphasize your potential and willingness to learn and grow on the job.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.