1. Formatted Word template and tips for wording
… If you have not yet formulated and formatted a cover letter:
Tip: Against writer’s block it helps to start with the end of the cover letter and then work your way up. The introductory sentence is then formulated at the very end.
… If you already have a completed cover letter:
2. Color test for the cover letter – does the content fit?
The color test was developed by Gerhard Winkler and recommends the following procedure:
The text of the letter is marked with pens in red, blue, green and yellow.
The colors are assigned to the content as follows:
Green: all facts, for example about professional experience and specific people / names and places.
Red: all vague statements (for example “diverse tasks” “demanding tasks”) generalizing information (“in the commercial area”), clever remarks and sentences that are intended to flatter the addressee.
Yellow: all facts about training / studies / internships, qualifications and your own knowledge and ability.
Blue: Desired salary, starting date, summary at the end and the desire for an interview.
This is what the cover letter should ideally look like:
- A lot of green at the beginning
- A lot of yellow in the second and (if available) third paragraph
- A lot of blue in the last third
Tip: You can also do it without colored pencils and markers on the computer: Copy the cover letter text into a new document and either transfer it to it the font color or the character background, highlight the text in color.
3. Read the cover letter out loud – how fluent is the cover letter?
Anyone who reads the fully formulated cover letter aloud to himself will quickly notice where it is not yet fluently formulated, sounds unnatural or is difficult to understand.
In the second step, a second person can be consulted.
Tip: HR professionals take little time: Short sentences are much easier to understand than long sentences.
4. Formal check
Formal errors in the cover letter can be easily avoided.
If you have little experience with the creation of applications, you can get one or two useful tips with the tool. However, the results should not simply be adopted without questioning them.
5. Get feedback from forums
If you are not yet sure whether the cover letter is so good or very good, you can also use an application forum.
Experienced users are active in most of the application forums and are already giving valuable tips free of charge.
With a little time and effort, even applicants with less experience in drafting cover letters can create a good, individual cover letter that stands out among the other applications.
And that for the simple reason that many applicants still work with text modules from the Internet and do not take enough care when checking spelling (this is regularly confirmed in surveys among personnel decision-makers).