Unfortunately, the pandemic reversed some of those gains, wiping out about 1.7 million wage and salary jobs in the 12 months leading up to January 2021, as reported by the Asian Development Bank.
This makes the job hunt that much harder for fresh graduates in the Philippines.
How do you stand out? The answer lies in how you make your first impression; and the best way to make a great first impression is by creating a well-written cover letter to show your future company your immediate value proposition, unique fit, and personality.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can do exactly that - showcase your immediate value and present yourself as the number one front-runner for any given job.
Parts of A Good Cover Letter
Just like anything in life, creating something meaningful stems from a good foundation of knowledge, base rules, and customs.
Here’s the exact 4 paragraphs you’ll need to write a standout cover letter that will impress any recruiter.
It’s probably obvious to you by now that the first impression is everything and the greeting of your cover letter might be the very first thing that the hiring manager sees.
One key strategy that you should use to make sure your letter catches her attention is this:
Dear Ms. De Leon
That’s right - make sure you address your recruiter by their real name, not a generic calling card like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Sir or Madam”. This method of addressing the reader is scientifically proven to make the recruiter feel like she’s found something tailored specifically for her. She keeps on reading expecting the letter to outline the exact information she’s been looking for.
So aside from the usual self-introduction, the position you’re applying for, and how you found the job, make sure you address the person correctly.
If, however, you can’t find the name of the recruiter online, it’d be best for you to address the entire department while making sure that you specifically state the name of the company. That way, the recruiter will at least know that this isn’t a copy-paste template for all your cover letters albeit this practice will have less of a positive impact than simply using the recruiter’s name.
In this section of the cover letter, briefly outline how your skills match that of the position. If, for example, you have any relevant qualifications such as a college degree or prior employment experience that matches the role that you’re applying for, make sure that you mention that in this paragraph.
A key piece of advice would be to list down 2 to 3 achievements that relate heavily to this role and to ensure that any relevant knowledge you have of the company or industry would be mentioned here as well, if appropriate.
Moving away from your technical skills, this paragraph should focus on your soft skills and how your personality and core values enhance and support your technical abilities.
You could, for example, cite your willingness and enthusiasm to fit into the team and how these attributes help you mesh well with the team to boost morale and overall productivity. Make sure that you list down these values and keep them posted nearby in case you make it to the interview stage.
Finally, you cap off your cover letter by stating your availability for interview and reiterate your contact details. More specifically, your email and contact number.
This holds especially true for unadvertised positions. If you were referred a position without being provided much information, make sure that you’re available as soon as they reply and mention that you will contact them by a certain date if you don’t hear back.
Tips For A Winning Cover Letter
The step-by-step guide mentioned above can only go so far - it doesn’t tell you how to stand out from the sea of fresh graduates in the Philippines hungry for their first job.
Read on for our top 3 tips to writing a standout cover letter.
Avoid generic references and vague phrases.
Whenever possible, make sure that you’re able to identify specific situations that highlights your affinity to specific problem-solving skills or tangible business results.
Being vague is boring because any potential candidate can say they possess a desirable skill so to make an impression, you need to be able to show hiring managers examples of your skills in action
For example, instead of saying “I’m a team player who always does the right thing”, you might want to say: “In my last org position, I was responsible for organizing team-bonding events and assembled a team of people who were enthusiastic about the goal.”
Unless explicitly stated, it’s common knowledge that there is no required length for a cover letter - but that doesn’t mean that you can just go on and on without regard for length. Remember, someone will end up reading your letter, so make sure that they’re able to find the important information in the quickest way possible.
Keep the letter short and to the point, highlight one or two of your your proudest professional achievements, and let the hiring manager find your achievements to be the symbols of future success that they are.
Finally, our last tip for you is to proofread. Many fresh graduates overlook the importance of proofreading, often opting to simply send the cover letter the moment that they finish typing - only to find it marred by countless spelling and grammatical errors.
Remember that this is your first and only chance of making a good first impression. Take this opportunity to let your greatest strengths shine and show that you respect and appreciate the time and attention that your hiring manager has provided you.
Are you ready to find your first job? We help students and fresh grads find the best internships and fresh graduate jobs to get you started with your career. Sign up for free at ph.prosple.com!