How to Quickly Draft Cover Letters

Transform your job applications with the ultimate guide to drafting effective cover letters quickly and efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Tailoring your cover letter increases interview chances by demonstrating your genuine interest and fit for the role.
  • Personalizing your application to reflect your unique experiences and how they align with the company's goals makes a solid first impression.
  • Utilizing bullet points for brainstorming and incorporating keywords can streamline the writing process and ensure your cover letter resonates with hiring managers.
  • Showcasing personality while maintaining professionalism adds a personal touch that can set your application apart from the rest.
  • Unmudl offers courses designed with employment in mind. We provide a direct path from learning to job opportunities and radically enhance the strength of your job application.
Transform your job applications with the ultimate guide to drafting effective cover letters quickly and efficiently.

A cover letter is key to standing out in the sea of job applications that recruiters have to go through to fill a position. Done right, it can be your golden opportunity to make a first impression that sticks. 

While a resume details your work experience and academic record, a cover letter summarizes your candidature and highlights why you're the perfect fit for a particular role and company culture. For that reason, the cover letter remains a critical factor in landing that job interview.

A standout cover letter can take time to craft, especially so when you're preparing to apply to multiple roles. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality, however. A compelling cover letter can be drafted quickly with the right approach. 

Let’s explore some practical and straightforward tips to streamline your cover letter creation process. 

working on a laptop
Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Click to learn more about Unmudl and Amazon Original Course

Unlocking the Potential of the Cover Letter

A cover letter is a formal pitch to a potential employer that supplements your resume. It’s an opportunity to sum up who you are and how you align with the company's values and needs

While your resume discusses what you've done, your cover letter speaks to what you can do for your prospective employer. It's your chance to explain why you're excited about the role and how your unique experiences make you the ideal candidate.

Making a First Impression

First impressions matter. A lot, when you’re talking about employment! Your cover letter is often the first thing in the job application process a hiring manager will read. That makes it a powerful tool to grab their attention and make them want to learn more about you

The ideal cover letter strikes a chord and sets you apart from other applicants who might be similarly qualified. By highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences in a way that resonates with the hiring team, a well-crafted cover letter can put you on the shortlist for an interview.

Here's the thing: hiring managers can tell when you've taken the time to personalize your cover letter. It shows that you're genuinely interested in the position and not just sending out mass applications. 

According to an experiment by ResumeGo, candidates who took the time to write job-specific cover letters saw a notable increase in interview invitations, with 16.4% of them stepping through the interview door, compared to only 10.7% of those who skipped the cover letter step.

When to Include a Cover Letter

Knowing when to include a cover letter can give a significant advantage to your job applications. While some might view it as an optional step, there are scenarios where a cover letter can be particularly impactful. 

For Highly Desired Roles

When you come across a dream job, that's your cue to go the extra mile. A cover letter lets you express your enthusiasm and commitment, showing the hiring team why this role is not just another job application for you. 

Career Changes

Are you embarking on a new career path? A cover letter is your golden opportunity to explain the transition. It allows you to articulate the reason behind the change and how your previous experiences equip you with a unique perspective or skill set beneficial for the new role.

 Highlighting your transferable skills can help the hiring manager see the potential value you bring despite a different background.

Explaining Employment Gaps

Sometimes, employment gaps raise questions for a potential employer. Use your cover letter to address these periods positively and proactively. 

Whether it was time off for family, further education, or personal growth, explaining the context can turn a potential red flag into a showcase of your resilience and determination.

When You Have Ample Time to Customize Your Application

Ideally, you must customize every application every time, but time constraints don't always make this possible. Tailoring your cover letter to the specific company and position, however, can make a substantial difference when you have the time. 

Personalizing your application shows you're genuinely interested in the role and have done your homework about the company. It shows respect for the employer's time and demonstrates your diligence.

Surveys of US hiring managers reveal that 68% consider cover letters necessary for interview decisions, with a quarter deeming them very important. Only 6% think cover letters are not important. Medium and large companies are more than twice as likely as small businesses to view cover letters as important (34% vs. 15%).

working with pen and paper

Getting Started with Your Cover Letter

Crafting a cover letter that captures attention starts with a deep understanding of the role and company you're applying for and a clear articulation of your essential skills and experiences

Here's how to lay the groundwork for a cover letter that makes hiring managers take notice.

  • Research the Company: Research the company's website, particularly the ‘About Us’ section. Look for the company's mission statement, core values, and recent achievements. Understanding the company culture and goals can help you align your cover letter to speak directly to what they value most.
  • Use Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter can provide insights into the company's latest news, projects, and team dynamics. Following the company on these social media platforms can give you a better picture of what it does and how it interacts with its employees and customers. 

Social media can also help you interact with company insiders or even get a referral. LinkedIn insights reveal that being referred for a job can significantly boost your chances of being hired, with internal referrals making you four times more likely to land the job.

  • Read Reviews: Workplace review platforms like Glassdoor offer feedback from current and former employees, which can shed light on the company's working conditions, expectations, and interview tips. Remember to take these reviews with a grain of salt and look for consistent themes rather than outliers.
  • Analyze the Job Description: Read the job posting carefully to understand the specific requirements and responsibilities of a role. Highlight keywords and phrases related to specific skills, experiences, and qualifications.
  • Match Your Skills: Once you've identified the essential requirements, reflect on your experiences. How do your skills and achievements align with what the company is looking for? List your relevant experiences and highlight those that match the job description.
  • Use the STAR Method: For each essential requirement, consider using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your thoughts. This method can help you prepare concise, impactful examples that demonstrate your capabilities. 

For instance, if the job requires leadership skills, think of a situation where you led a team, describe the task and your action, and highlight the result of your leadership.

writing a cover letter

Crafting an Effective Cover Letter

Here’s how to structure your cover letter effectively to capture the attention of the hiring manager.

The Header

Start with the basics. Your header should include your contact information, the date, and employer details. It should be more than just functional as it sets the professional tone of your letter. Make it easy for the hiring manager to find out how to contact you for an interview call.

  • Your Information: Name, address (optional), phone number, and email.
  • Company Information: Hiring manager's name (if known), company name, and company address.

The Greeting

A personalized greeting can make a world of difference. Starting with ‘Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]’, shows you’ve taken the initiative to research who’s hiring. If you can’t find a name, ‘Dear Hiring Team at [Company Name]’ is a respectful and inclusive alternative.

Opening Paragraph

Your opening shot should be brief and memorable. Kick off with an introduction to who you are professionally and express your enthusiasm for the role and the company. This is where you can excite the reader and hint at the value you can bring to their team.

Body Paragraphs

This is where you get to the heart of your narrative.

  • Fit for the Position: Draw clear lines between the job's requirements and your accomplishments. Use specific examples and quantify your achievements whenever possible. Highlighting the skills that directly apply to the job shows you’re interested and capable.
  • Understanding of the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge about what the company does and its current challenges. Connect this knowledge to how your background makes you a valuable asset in navigating current challenges and making the most of opportunities. This reveals foresight and a proactive mindset.

The Closing

Finish by summarizing why you’re the right fit for the role and the company. Express gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration. 

Include a polite call to action, like ‘I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to the team’, which encourages your inclusion in the next step of the hiring process.

Speedy Drafting Techniques for Your Cover Letter

Crafting a standout cover letter doesn't have to be a time-consuming process. With the proper techniques, you can efficiently draft a cover letter that makes a memorable impact. 

Here's how:

Templates and Customization

Start with a solid template as your foundation. Templates can save time and ensure your cover letter has a professional layout. Make sure to adapt and customize it adequately to reflect the role you’re applying for

Swap out generic phrases for detailed examples of your achievements and how they align with the particular requirements of the role under question.

Bullet Points for Brainstorming

Before you dive into writing your cover letter, list your achievements and skills relevant to the job using bullet points. This brainstorming step can help you organize your thoughts and list your points for maximum impact. 

Once you have your list, select the most compelling points to include in your cover letter and ensure they are relevant to the job description.

Incorporating Keywords and Skills

Hiring managers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter applications based on specific keywords related to the job. Read the job description carefully and identify the keywords and skills mentioned. 

Incorporate these into your cover letter to ensure it passes through ATS filters and catches the hiring manager's eye. Using the exact terms from the job description can significantly increase your chances of reaching the interview stage.

Quantifying Achievements

Quantifying your achievements gives hiring managers a clear picture of your capabilities. Instead of saying ‘increased sales’, specify how much you increased sales by, such as ‘increased sales by 20% within six months’. 

Specificity adds credibility to your claims and demonstrates the tangible value you can bring to the company.

Drawing from the wisdom of Ana Alipat, Lead Recruiter at DayJob Recruitment, we uncover invaluable tactics for making your cover letter not just seen but felt. Ana emphasizes the importance of customizing each cover letter to the specific job and company to capture an employer's attention truly. She outlines several key elements for customization:

  • Job Title and Reference: Tailor your cover letter by directly mentioning the job title you're applying for, ensuring alignment with the position advertised.
  • Company-Specific Language: Echo the language found in the job listing and the company's website to demonstrate your alignment with their culture and needs.
  • Skills and Experiences: It's crucial to spotlight skills and experiences that directly correspond with the job requirements, showing you're the perfect candidate.

Alipat also shares personalization tips to elevate your cover letter:

  • Addressing the Hiring Manager: Whenever possible, address the hiring manager by name to add a personal touch.
  • Mentioning a Specific Project: Highlight a specific project or aspect of the company you admire. This shows your genuine interest and engagement with their work.
two people working on a laptop

Making Your Cover Letter Stand Out

Ensuring your cover letter shines brighter than the rest is crucial. Here’s how you can draft a standout cover letter by injecting your personality into it and polishing it to perfection.

Personalizing Your Letter

Tailoring your cover letter to each job application shows you’ve done your homework and genuinely care about the opportunity. Mention specific projects, products, or company values that resonate with you

For example, if the company prides itself on sustainability and you have a passion for environmental initiatives, highlight that alignment prominently. This connection demonstrates how you fit the role and the company culture.

Showing Your Personality

Your cover letter must reflect your personality and unique voice. Within the bounds of professionalism, don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm and character shine through

This could be through sharing an anecdote that illustrates your passion for the field or explaining why a particular project excites you. Remember, companies don’t just hire skills - they hire people.

Proofreading and Editing

No matter how impressive your experiences or how perfect a fit you are for the role, spelling and grammatical errors can undermine your application. Take the time to thoroughly proofread your cover letter or have someone else review it. 

Tools like Grammarly can also help catch common mistakes. A clean, error-free letter reflects your attention to detail and professionalism.

Kickstart Your Career with Unmudl

Ready to take your career to the next level? Unmudl is here to bridge the gap between learning and working. With a wide array of courses tailored to enhance your skills, Unmudl offers a unique pathway from education directly to employment opportunities.

Explore Unmudl’s Courses for Skill Enhancement

Dive into courses designed in partnership with leading employers and community colleges nationwide. Whether you’re looking to refine your communication skills to craft compelling cover letters, aiming to master a new software tool, or seeking to switch careers altogether, Unmudl has something for you. 

Each course on our Skills-to-Jobs ® platform is structured to provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills that you can begin to apply immediately.

A Direct Path from Learning to Employment

What sets Unmudl apart is its commitment to educating and connecting learners with real job opportunities. Many of our courses are developed with direct input from employers to ensure the skills you acquire are precisely what the job market demands

Upon completion, you have a certificate and a foot in the door to interviews with some of the nation’s leading companies.

Take Action Today

Start exploring Unmudl’s courses today! Enhance your skills, draft your winning cover letter, and post your next job application confidently. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion or a career shift, Unmudl is your partner in career growth. 

Take the first step towards transforming your professional life. Contact us now, find the course that fits your career aspirations, and join a community of learners who’ve turned their educational investments into tangible achievements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click to learn more about Unmudl and Amazon Original Course

More Articles