Searching for a job in Canada’s competitive market can be challenging. With the right cover letter, you can make your application stand out to potential employers.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to craft a compelling cover letter that highlights your skills and experience.
Conduct Thorough Research
Before writing your cover letter, research the company and role extensively. Understand the business, its mission and values, as well as the job responsibilities and required qualifications.
This will allow you to tailor your letter specifically for that employer. Look for recent news, awards, projects or developments related to the company. Reference these in your cover letter to demonstrate your interest and knowledge.
Use the Appropriate Format
Structure your cover letter using standard Canadian business formatting. Include your contact information in a header with your name, phone number, email and location. Address the letter to the hiring manager or recruiter by name and official title.
If you cannot find a name, use a generic greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager”. The cover letter should be concise, typically 3-4 paragraphs and under one page. Use clear section headings and white space between paragraphs to improve readability.
Craft a Strong Opening
Your opening paragraph is critical for making a strong first impression. State the position you are applying for and where you found the job posting.
Explain concisely why you are interested in this role and company. You may reference recent news or developments to demonstrate your knowledge.
Highlight Relevant Skills and Experience
The body of your cover letter should compellingly argue why you are qualified for this position.
Connect your background, achievements and capabilities directly to the job requirements stated in the posting. Use facts, figures and specific examples to quantify your accomplishments.
For instance, you may state “As a sales manager, I consistently exceeded targets by 25% through developing new client relationships.”
This shows rather than tells your abilities. Adapt your content if you are changing careers or lack direct experience. Identify transferable skills from other roles and relate them to the needs of the job.
Convey Passion and Fit
Employers want to know why you are truly excited for this opportunity. Explain what aspects of the company or job role resonate with you personally and professionally. This passion and cultural fit can distinguish you from other applicants.
You may reference the company’s mission, values or recent initiatives that inspire you. Connect these back to your own background, leadership style or career goals to show alignment.
Carefully proofread your cover letter several times before submitting. Check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors or repetitive phrasing. These errors can remove you from consideration regardless of your qualifications. Additionally, ask a friend or career advisor to review your letter with fresh eyes. They may catch issues you have overlooked.
Follow Up Politely
One week after submitting your application, follow up to reiterate your strong interest. Thank the employer for considering your application and offer to provide more information.
However, avoid sounding overly aggressive or demanding. Following these best practices will lead to a compelling, professional cover letter. With a tailored, achievement-focused approach, you can make employers take notice and choose you for an interview.
Adjust your content for each application, always keeping the employer’s needs at the forefront. Show them how your unique background makes you the ideal candidate to help advance their organization.
Key Elements of a Strong Canadian Cover Letter Heading
- Full name
- Professional title
- Complete contact Details
- Phone number
- Hiring manager’s full name and title
- If name unknown, use generic option like “Dear Hiring Manager”
- Position applying for and where it was found
- Brief explanation of interest in role/company
- Optional: Relevant company news, awards, developments
- Tailored skills, achievements and experience
- Facts/figures to quantify accomplishments
- Adapt content if changing careers or lacking direct experience
- Enthusiasm for role and fit with company
- Mission, values, initiatives that inspire you
- Thank employer and offer additional information
- One page maximum
- Clear section headings
- Consistent formatting
- White space between paragraphs
- Carefully proofread for errors
- Follow up one week after submitting