All HR managers know how difficult it is to find the right candidate. Especially if there are dozens or even hundreds of job postings. Recruiters most often pay attention to the resume which compares favorably with all other resumes, and such a difference may be a cover letter.
According to a study of Harvard University, HR specialists are much more likely to respond to resumes with cover letters and also prefer emotional texts. Today we will discuss how to write cover letters correctly, what kind of letter is perfect and how it can help the HR manager to determine the right candidate.
Secrets of a Perfect Cover Letter
- Literacy. It will be difficult to convince the employer if you write the word “responsible,” having lost a couple of letters. After all, what responsibility are we talking about if the candidate did not even bother to reread his text before sending?
- Minimalism. Let’s be honest, no one is interested in reading a whole page of text about how the applicant likes to relax on the weekend, and what kind of dog he has. For example, Facebook recruiters study resumes and form a first impression in 20-30 seconds. Therefore, the cover letter should be concise and informative from the first paragraph.
- Interest. If we are talking about a perfect cover letter, we should orient it to a certain position. A job seeker who sends the same letter to different companies is hardly really interested in a particular job.
- Recommendations. Large companies almost always ask for recommendations from their previous place of work. The applicant is ahead of the HR manager and sent such information immediately automatically rises in the HR rating among other candidates.
A great article about cover letters is also here.
Common Programmer’s Mistakes When Applying for a Job
Before we show you what a perfect cover letter looks like for a web dev, we want to share with you some typical mistakes of guys who come to get a job in the IT field and some tips to avoid them. Here is a good and helpful guide:
1. Unattractive resume
The resume immediately shows whether a person is seriously thinking about work. A person, when writing a resume, does this from the point of view of the user, asking himself the question: “Will my resume help the employer choose me?” It is clear that the headhunter or other services form the framework of the resume, but even using these platforms, applicants tend to make mistakes.
Typical Resume Mistakes:
- no contact information (yes, it happens!);
- no cover letter when necessary (why do you want this job). It happens that a letter is not necessary, because everything is already clear: he worked for 20 years in the front-end web and wants to continue. But if the candidate worked as a plumber and then became a programmer, questions will arise. It’s better to remove them right away by writing about your motives in a cover letter;
- the level of estimated income is not indicated. Sometimes if you do not specify a salary, then you will have more space for maneuver. However, this way you find yourself outside the filter of the employer if he indicated a specific range of money when searching.
2. No projects and experience
If you are getting a job as a web programmer, you must have experience and professional skills. Even if you take a position as a junior, you still need to have some kind of projects at the hobbyist or study level. Ideally, if you have a decent account where you push something at least once every few months. Often, recruiters have to hear that the candidate cannot show the code because he has an NDA. You can always show your code, even if it is closed by the NDA, but out of context: just show some part by which your coding style is clear. If there is absolutely nothing to show, you will have to do a test task, and this is a waste of time. So it’s in the interests of the applicant to prepare a code for demonstration in advance.
3. Poor Test Task
Often they send a badly done test task. Let’s give an example of typical errors for Java, but this list is perfect for other languages.
- Inattentive reading of the task. For example, the use of ORM when it is written that it cannot be used;
- Exception jamming through e.printStackTrace ();
- Lack of comments;
- Bad OOP: what classes should be engaged in what tasks;
- Insufficient code separation;
- SQL injection;
- Huge methods that can be divided into several parts for clarity;
- Working with git: extra files in the repository;
- Naming of classes, methods, coding style;
- Database settings in the wrong place;
- Lack of tests;
- Unclosed resources: files, connections.
Web Developer Cover Letter Sample
Here is an example of a cover letter for a web developer position in an interface. Such a format should be effective for senior web devs as well.
Сity, State, Zip Code
Dear HR Manager:
Building the most modern, easy-to-use, user-friendly websites and applications is truly my passion. I am actively looking for new technologies and do not lag behind trends and achievements in the industry.
I have enclosed a copy of my resume, which details my experience as well as links to various websites and applications that I worked with.
I can reach me at my mobile phone, 555-555-5555 or by e-mail @gmail.com.
Thank you for your time and attention.
I look forward to talking with you about this opportunity.
So, a cover letter is a candidate’s chance to attract the attention of the employer precisely to his resume. There is no sample of a perfect cover letter that will help you get a job in any organization – it simply does not exist. As, however, and some standards in this matter.
But there are some points in the cover letter that is not usually indicated in the resume, or is not sufficiently disclosed:
- information about achievements;
- list of personal qualities;
- portfolio of work;
- motivation and interest of the applicant in this particular vacancy.
To get a helpful template, try to use this site to have a great web development cover letter for your dream job!