Oftentimes, we may be required to write a cover letter for various purposes. Before we delve into how to write a cover letter especially in Canada, we should know that a cover letter is a short written document addressed directly to the department or individual in charge of hiring in response to a particular job prospect.
If you are applying for a professional job in Canada, it is mandatory that you know how to write a cover letter for Canada and this is also important if you want to secure a job in the country. The essence of this article is to give you tips on how to write a Canadian-focused cover letter.
But, just before you start writing a cover letter, there are certain actions you must take first which includes;
Doing your research before you start writing a cover letter is very essential because you ought to have adequate information about the company or organization you are applying to. The ways you can amass information about them are through their website and social media pages, also, you can research their top competitors, and read the latest articles on industry news.
Furthermore, you have to learn the name(s) of the head of the company as well as the individual(s) who will be in charge of hiring for the position you are applying for. Please note, it is not necessary to include every information from your research in your cover letter, but it will serve as a guideline for deciding what you should include.
For every cover letter, you will write, though it may take some time but endeavor to do your research just to have a much better chance of being granted an interview.
- Lookout for Instructions
Sometimes, employers attach instructions in their job postings. This is because they may need some specific information, or want you to answer certain questions, in your cover letter. Therefore, you must check if the employer has left any specific instructions for your cover letter. If yes, then you should not ignore them, follow them judiciously.
What Are The Formatting Guidelines?
For every cover letter, you write in Canada, there is a standard cover letter format that you are expected to follow by most Canadian employers. Nevertheless, these guidelines depend on the industry and the specific job posting you are responding to, if not, you may have to change the formatting of your cover letter.
1. The Length: The length of your cover letter should not exceed one page in total.
2. The Font: We advise that you choose a font that appears professional and maintain a consistent font throughout your cover letter. Additionally, the size of your font should be visible enough in such a way that it is easy to read when your cover letter is printed.
3. Spacing: Your cover letter must be properly spaced in such a way that the main body should be single-spaced, having enough space left between each new paragraph and section.
How can I write the perfect cover letter for Canada’s job market?
To write a cover letter that is considered to be perfect, you should take cognizance of the seven sections in a cover letter.
- Your Information: The first section entails details about you which include your name and contact information. They should appear at the top of your cover letter, and you are to include the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Your present residential address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Date: After you have written your information, you should write below it, the date that you are sending your cover letter.
3. Information of the employer: You should write the contact information of the individual, department, or company you are addressing the cover letter to below the date. Nevertheless, if the name of the individual is known, you should include:
- Their first and last name
- Their position title
- The name of their company or organization
- The commercial address of the company or organization
But, in a situation whereby the name of the individual is not known, you should include:
- The department in charge of hiring decisions (if you know it)
- The name of the company or organization
- The commercial address of the company or organization
4. Greeting: In opening your letter, employ the use of a formal greeting. In a case whereby the name of the individual making hiring decisions is known to you, address them directly with their prefix and full name, but if the name is not known to you, make the use of a formal, generic greeting such as ‘To whom it may concern,’.
5. The Main Text: At this juncture, please note that just like every other letter, the main text of your cover letter should have these three parts which are; the introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Introduction: The first paragraph of your cover letter should contain an introduction of yourself as a candidate which includes your first name and the position you are applying for. Additionally, you can choose to include how you found the job posting (mention the contact at the company who referred you to the job by name or department, if any), and your post-relevant qualification. Finally, ensure that your introduction should not exceed two to three sentences.
- Body: Coming to the body, this is where the bulk of the work is. Try as much as possible to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the position in the next couple of paragraphs. Give them reasons to invest in you, but in case you are not sure of what to include, maybe you should try to answer these questions:
- Are there any projects you have previously embarked on that are connected to this position? If yes, what lessons did you learn from them? Why does this project make you a preferred choice of candidate?
- Are there responsibilities that you have previously held that are related to this position? If yes, what lessons did you learn from them? Why does this responsibility make you a preferred choice of candidate?
- If you are hired, what do you intend to do? In what way (s) will you be of benefit to the employer if he or she hires you instead of someone else?
Furthermore, the body of your cover letter should not exceed one or two paragraphs.
- Conclusion: Here comes the last paragraph in the main text of your cover letter. Now, this is where you can let the employer know how you feel about potentially working for the company, also thank them for allowing you to apply, and invite them to respond to your application. Note that this should not exceed three or four sentences.
6. Signature: In your cover letter signature, the two parts involved are: the closing line and your full name.
- Closing Line: This is a line found right before your name and the closing line should be done appropriately.
- Full Name: After the closing line, the next should be your full name. Because more job applications are done electronically, we feel it is not necessary to print and physically sign your cover letter.
The Last Revision
We advise that you review your cover letter carefully just to ensure that you have not made any mistakes.
1. Proofread: This is an opportunity to cross-check your cover letter for any spelling or grammatical errors and if possible, you can ask someone else to do the proofreading for you, or you can come back to it after a night’s sleep. Of all information, you must be sure that there are no discrepancies or mistakes in:
- The name and contact information you provided
- The name and contact of the employer you provided.
- The name of the company or organization you are applying to that you provided
2. Cross-check Instructions: If there are any instructions given by the employer, please go through them again and make sure you have followed them carefully.
3. Date: Ensure that your cover letter bears the correct date and the date should be the day that your cover letter was sent to your potential employer.
Is a cover letter for Canada always necessary?
Well, if you were referred by an employee of a company, in some cases, a cover letter may not be completely necessary. Nevertheless, it is important that for each job application, you write a Canadian cover because it is through this means that you show your understanding of the position and let them know how your skills and experience are relevant to the position.
Also, you have an opportunity to of making a strong first impression through your concise explanation of what the company is about. Moreover, you will also get to show them that you are genuinely interested in them.
Summarily, always remember that when it comes to creating the perfect cover letter for Canada, there are three particular approaches you can employ to achieve your aim.
The first approach is to introduce yourself and the job you are applying for.
The second approach is to make it crystal clear that your skill set matches the needed requirements for the job.
The final approach is to tell the reasons why you would be the most suitable candidate for an interview but please do not appear too pushy.