How International Students can write Great Cover Letters

Cover letters are increasingly important for applications because they provide a unique opportunity to show what makes you distinct from others. It’s your chance to sell yourself in a way that is so appealing that employers will absolutely want you for the job. How then can international students write great cover letters? Let’s find out.

A cover letter is a one-page document submitted in your job application with a resume or a CV. It is best to keep it short and relevant, within 300 words and containing the work experience most relevant to the job posting. It’s your personal statement so make it compelling by doing the following:

  1. Create a professional header with yours and the hiring manager’s contact details.
  2. Address the cover letter directly to the hiring manager.
  3. Open with a personal salutation.
  4. Introduce yourself, explain why you’re applying and show achievements relevant to the job.
  5. Target the employer’s needs and prove you can help.
  6. Briefly explain your motivation and say why you want the job.
  7. Reiterate your offer and make a call to action in the final paragraph.
  8. Sign off with a proper formal closing and your full name.
  9. Keep it short. 300 words max.

Follow the Rule

To begin with, use a professional cover letter header following the rules of formal business letters which include: Your

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date
  • The name of the hiring manager and their professional title
  • The name of the company to which you’re applying
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Keep the letter professional by:

  • Using an email address from a respected provider.
  • Ensuring your email address includes your first and last name, not your work email.
  • Making sure your contact information is consistent with your resume, cover letter, and social media profiles.
  • Using left justification for all the details in the cover letter header.

Start with a Proper Greeting

Address the letter directly to the hiring manager who’ll read it. If you’re applying for a position with a relaxed, casual company, use the first name. e.g Dear Rose. For corporate cover letters, use the addressee’s last name. e.g Dear Miss Williams.If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, address it to whom it may concern. e.g Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager, Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Google Team, or To Whom It May Concern. Applicants within Victorian England can start with “Dear Sir or Madam.”

Use the 3-paragraph Cover Letter Format

Using this format makes your job easy and helps you stay on the right track. The first paragraph should arrest the hiring manager’s attention. Moving on to the second paragraph, show what you have to offer to satisfy the organization’s specific needs or requirements. This is the reason why you qualify for the position.

Finally, your third paragraph should prove that you’ll fit in owing to your interest in the company and its upcoming or ongoing projects. Feel free to point out that your experience and knowledge pave the way for you to succeed. Connect this to how it helps your future employer fulfil their goals.

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Use the appropriate formal Closing

Being a formal letter, you need to use an appropriate formal closing such as “sincerely” and your full name. Your handwritten signature is optional but is recommended for more formal cover letters. Instead of using “sincerely”, you can also use Thank you for your consideration, Best regards, Kind regards, Sincerely, With best regards, etc.After writing the letter, you can repeat your basic contact information and have the letter proofread thoroughly before submission. This is key for international students using cover letters.

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