A good cover letter shows how you as a candidate fulfill the responsibilities and duties of the job you are applying for. In addition, how motivated for the position you are. The goal with a cover letter is to create interest by an employer so you can be invited for a job interview. A well-written targeted cover letter gives to the employer an impression of how you will perform as an employee and colleague in the position that you are applying for.
Just remember, you need to grab the interest very fast. The first screening takes a maximum of five seconds of the employer’s attention. Try to put yourself in the shoes of an employer who has published Job Vacancy and needs to review all the applicants. Imagine that for one position can be sometimes over a hundred candidates. Usually, an employer will in the first round scan all the applications and in that round, only those who grab the attention will be further processed with a little bit more detailed reading of the application and CV.
Even before thinking to write a Cover letter, it is smart to do proper job advertisement analysis, prepare Elevator Pitch that will be pitched in a phone call to the contact person. After completing these three tasks and additional information that you can gather from these two sources you have armed yourself with the knowledge that gives you a higher chance of writing a cover letter that will grab attention and lead to calling you for a job interview.
Cover Letter Preparation Steps
Here are the steps that you should follow:
- Do the Job Vacancy Analysis
- Map your Competenecies Cornerstones
- Write an Elevator Pitch
- Pitch it in the phone call to the contact person – make the first impression
- make smart questions in the phone call
- All the previous steps help you to gather the data that will tell what the right candidate needs to possess.
- Based on all gathered and analyzed data, write your targeted Cover Letter.
First, we will write about what key elements of a Cover Letter are, and later we will write in more detail about each key element of a Cover Letter.
Tips For Cover Letter Format
Here are some tips for the Cover Letter design that you should follow:
- Write Cover Letter as a formal letter.
- Limit to one page preferably.
- Structure the Cover Letter to be clear, easy to read, and scan.
- If you make the document as an attachment when applying for the position make sure to give an obvious and easy-to-find name among other attachments in the application.
What Are Key Elements Of A Cover Letter
Cover Letter structure can contain the following key elements:
Cover Letter Key Elements
- Background (relevant for the position)
- About me
- End (Conclusion)
Header consist of several standard pieces of information:
- Top Left – personal data
- Name (Your)
- Address (Your)
- Place (Your)
- Top Right
- Sending Date
- Bellow personal data – write Employer data
- Name (Employer)
- Address (Employer)
- Place (Employer)
- Job application for the position
In the introduction element, you are writing which position you are applying for and referring to the phone call to the contact person as a reminder of who you are.
For example, you can start the introduction as follow:
Referring to the Job Vacancy for the position <position> and after a pleasant conversation with <Contact Person Name> I am with great interest and please apply for the position.
or in Norwegian, you can write something like this:
Viser til stillingsannonse på finn.no og hyggelig samtale med <NN>, jeg søker med stor interesse stillingen som <stilling>.
The motivation section of the Cover Letter is the section where you explain your motivation to apply for the position by answering the following questions:
- Why do you apply for exactly that position,
- Why do you apply for that position in that exact company,
- Maybe you share the same values as the company’s values in Mission and Vision statements,
- Why should the company choose you among other candidates?
If you struggle to define your motivation factors please read the dedicated article Map Your Job Context Motivation where we have discussed different motivation factors related to the job. We are confident that you will find valuable ideas to define your motivation factors after reading the article.
Here you write about your working experience and education that is relevant for the position you are applying for.
If you have done proper Job Vacancy Analysis, mapped your formal and real competencies as we have mentioned that in the Competencies Cornerstones article you will have no trouble shining in this section and grab the attention of a potential employer.
Think of examples from your previous working experience about how you have contributed and solved different challenges. Moreover, how beneficial that was for your previous employers.
Present your examples using the STAR presentation method as we have described in our article Know Your Contributions To The Company.
Excellent contribution examples will make you a confident candidate and show your potential employer how you will most likely perform in the position you are applying for.
Combined with your personality presented in the next section About Me. Potential employer will have a deeper understanding of how you will fit with the team and fulfill your duties and responsibilities.
5. About Me
Based on the information in Job Vacancy Analysis and a previous phone call to the contact person you will have enough information about the personality of the right candidate for the job.
Here you should write about your own personality and how that best fits for the position you are applying for portraying the profile of the right candidate. When we mention your personality we are thinking about your strengths and social skills as we have explained in the article Map Your Strengths And Social Skills For Job Search In Norway.
You should try to communicate your personal attributes in a Value Based Communication fashion or using the STAR presentation method so the employer can understand what benefits they are getting by hiring you.
6. End (Conclusion)
In the end, you should open for further steps in the job application process and your willingness and eagerness to be invited for a job interview.
You should finish your Cover Letter something like this:
I am excited about the possibility of an interview to further discuss my qualifications with you. I am immediately available and can be reached at <phone number>. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Or in Norwegian something like this:
Jeg ville satt stor pris på muligheten til å presentere meg selv nærmere i et intervju. Dersom dere skulle ha behov for ytterligere informasjon står jeg gjerne til tjeneste med dette, og er lettest tilgjengelig på mobile <mobile nummer>.
At the very end, you will list all the documents that you will attach to your job application. Make sure to have a system for naming the documents so it is very easy for a contact person to find the right ones as needed.
We have tips and suggestions for documents that can be attached, how to make digital copies, and organize them so it is easy to have them handy when needed in the article Checklist – Which Documents Should You Hand In With Your Job Application In Norway.
COVER LETTER TEMPLATE
We have created a Cover Letter Template Word document that you can download and use. Just replace with your text the parts marked with < > and you are good to go.
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Here are some useful words in Norwegian used in this text.
|2||Targeted Cover Letter||Spisse søknad|
|4||Open Cover Letter||Åpen søknad|
|10||Personal characteristics||Personlige egenskaper|
Good To Know
A cover letter should draw attention and open the doors for further steps in the job application process so you will be picked to be invited for a job interview. Grab the attention fast. Employers will usually use just five seconds in the first screening to assess your job application.
Your next step goes hand in hand with this one and that is writing a targeted resume (CV).
Good Luck with your Job Search!
Find Job In Norway By Following These Easy 19 Steps
Don’t forget that this article is part of a text serious about finding a job in Norway. Depending on the phase you are in at the moment maybe you can find some articles useful for yourself. So please check them out.
Below you can see the infographic with an overview of all the texts in the series. If you click on the link above you will be sent to the page where all these steps are listed.
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Author: Dejan Mladenovic
I moved my family of 3 to Norway in 2008 and created this website so that I can share what I’ve learned with anyone that’s thinking of moving or traveling to Norway. It’s such an awesome place, and I want you to get the most out of it!
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