How to write a cover letter - Read The Blog

How to Write a Cover Letter That Gets Noticed in Canada

Looking for a new job can seem like a daunting task. You spend endless hours browsing job boards, refining your resume, and rehearsing your interview techniques in hopes of catching the attention of recruiters. However, one vital component many job seekers overlook is the “Cover letter“.

Your resume is just the tip of the iceberg when showcasing your qualifications. A cover letter can be a game-changer, allowing you to confidently demonstrate your unique skills and expertise. A well-crafted cover letter can distinguish you from other applicants and leave a lasting impression, making you the ideal candidate for the job.

Follow this guide to crafting an outstanding cover letter for a co-op application / Canada’s job market.

Why Do You Need a Cover Letter?

What HR Finds Useful in Cover Letters:

Explaining motivation to join the company (63%)
Describing career objectives (50%)
Clarifying employment gaps or career changes (50%)
Highlighting professional achievements (47%)

Are you considering skipping the cover letter just because you are applying online? Wait! Don’t make that mistake. Let me tell you why a cover letter is a must-have for job applications.

  • Introduction – A cover letter lets you connect personally and explain why you’re an ideal fit.
  • Customizable – While resumes are static, cover letters can be adapted for different roles.
  • Personality – It reveals your writing skills and lets your personality shine.
  • Storytelling – You can use narrative techniques to engage recruiters.
  • Keywords – A cover letter allows you to incorporate critical skills organically.
77% Recruiters prefer cover letters even when optional

So, set yourself apart with a cover letter tailored to each job application.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

Jimmy Johnson

How to write an effective cover letter

Follow these key steps when formatting your cover letter:

1. Include Contact Information

At the top, state your name, phone number, email and location (city and province).

You can list contact info in a header (aligned left) or centered like a letterhead.

2. Add the Date

Below your contact information, include the date you’re sending the cover letter. This ensures it doesn’t get mixed up with others.

3. Address It Correctly

Whenever possible, address your letter directly to the hiring manager. Double-check the spelling of their name. If you cannot find the recipient’s name, address them as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter”. Avoid using generic greetings such as “To whom it may concern”.

4. Grab Attention Right Away

Hook the reader with a strong opening statement referencing the job title and relevant experience.

5. Use Business Letter Format

Organize your cover letter into 3-4 concise paragraphs. Leave a space between each one for easy readability. Aim for a length of 100-200 words per paragraph. Don’t exceed one page.

6. End With a Strong Closing

Wrap up by reiterating your interest and fit for the role. Thank the reader for their consideration.

End with a professional closing like “Sincerely” and your full name.

How to Write a Persuasive Cover Letter

Now, let’s dive into the meat of your cover letter, “Content.”

Follow these tips to make a compelling case for why you deserve the job:

Grab Attention to the Opening Paragraph

Your opening paragraph is prime real estate. Use it to explain:

  • The role you’re applying for
  • 2-3 key qualifications or achievements relevant to the role
  • Why you’re interested in the company

Here’s an example opening paragraph:

Dear Hiring Manager,

With 5+ years of digital marketing experience driving ROI through creative social media campaigns, I was excited to see your Social Media Manager role listed on Indeed. Given Guru Marketing’s status as one of Vancouver’s most respected agencies, I would thrive in an innovative environment to take your social media efforts to the next level.

Emphasize Transferable Skills

The second paragraph is your chance to expand on your most relevant hard and soft skills. While your resume focuses on past job duties, the cover letter looks at how to apply your skills to the new role. Recruiters priorities transferable skills like:

  • Communication
  • Project management
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Work ethic
quick tips- when making claims, provide brief examples to support them. if possible,quantify your achievements to add more weight to your argument.also, make sure to check for any spelling, grammar, or Punctuation errors.

Align with the Company’s Needs

Vividly demonstrate how your background makes you a perfect match for what the employer is looking for. Carefully study the job posting to identify 3-4 key requirements. Then, use your cover letter to connect the dots between those needs and your capabilities.

Show off how your specialized expertise can propel the company forward. Recruiters love to see you’ve done your homework on their specific organization.

Close by Summarizing Why You’re a Fit

Wrap up by reiterating your core strengths and passion for the role. Express enthusiasm for bringing your skills and experience to the company. End by thanking the reader for their consideration.

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Ideal Cover Letter Format In Canada

While cover letter basics stay consistent across borders, here are some nuances to keep in mind for the Canadian job market:

  • Be concise – Canadian recruiters favors shorter cover letters (ideally under 200 words).
  • Include postal codes – When stating your address, list your postal code instead of the zip code.
  • Highlight education – Listing your degree and university is recommended in Canada, unlike the US.
  • Mention citizen status – Since citizenship can impact eligibility, state if you’re a Canadian citizen/permanent resident.
  • Use proper date format – Write out the date month entirely instead of numerical formatting — for example, 15 September 2022.
  • Mind your French – If applying for jobs in Quebec, you may want to provide a French cover letter translation.

Cover Letter Template

Use this sample cover letter template and adjust it for your job application:

Now, you’re ready to craft a compelling cover letter that makes you stand out from the applicant pool. Remember to customize each one based on the target company and role. With these insider tips, your cover letter will grab recruiters’ attention and take your application to the top of the pile.

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