Writing a cover letter for your application can be just as important as your Resume/CV.
It really is a key selling point of you, showcasing your talents and your motivations on why you want that job. Here are our tips on how to get the most from your cover letter!
Before you begin writing, do as much research about the role, company and industry. This way you can write with knowledge and enthusiasm about what you will be doing and who you will be doing with it. This can go a long way to securing an interview.
1. Write a New Cover Letter for Each Position
If you’re anything like me, you feel like there’s never enough hours in the day and time is always slipping away, but this is NOT a moment you want to cheat yourself in the essence of time.
Yes, it’s way faster and easier to take the cover letter you wrote for your last application, change the name of the company, and send it off, but it won’t do you any good in the long run. While it’s OK to recycle a few strong sentences and phrases from one cover letter to the next, don’t even think about sending out a 100% generic letter.
2. Plan and Structure Your Cover Letter
Keep your cover letter to one side of A4 which includes:
- An introductory paragraph introducing yourself and where you found the role advertised
- A paragraph on why you want the role – remember to show off your research
- Three to four paragraphs demonstrating why you’d excel at the role – you need to show how you will add value to the organization
- A concluding paragraph that includes a positive interview request – be enthusiastic, but not pushy
3. Style Your Cover Letter
The style of your cover letter completely depends on your audience. For example, if you are looking for a role in a corporate environment then you need to write in a formal tone. However, if you are looking for a creative role then this will be completely different! It’s really important that you understand the culture of the company and industry to get the tone right. If in doubt be cautious in your approach, keeping the tone professional and neutral.
4. How You Will Add Value
When writing about how you can do the job, work out the specifics of what the employer actually wants you to do by reading the job description and/or advert. Just as your CV/resume should be tailored to the role, so should your cover letter. Make sure you use examples to demonstrate how your expertise matches what they are looking for, showing what you can do for your future employer.
5. Back it Up with Stats
It’s all good and fun to say you have skills, but to really make an impact you need to ‘prove it’, so throw in some supporting stats! They show you’ve had a measurable impact on an organization or company you’ve worked for.
It doesn’t mean you have to have doubled revenue at your last job, but did you decrease time to hire? Increase your client portfolio by 15%? Made a process at work 20% more efficient? Those numbers speak volumes about what you could bring to your next position.
6. Strategically Use Keywords
Ensure your cover letter contains the keywords from the job description. Most recruiters are looking for headline information that will get you through the initial stages of the recruitment process. So, make it easy for them to include you by ticking these off! But avoid repeating the exact phrasing and be aware the job adverts and descriptions can contain an element of fluff.
7. Show Your Interest
When you’re signing off, state your interest in the role and be positive about your suitability for the role. It’s always a good idea to express that you’d like to meet in person to discuss further. Make that final paragraph to the point and positive but not too pushy.
8. Double Check Before You Send
Once you’re finished it is vitally important to check the grammar, punctuation, and spelling in your cover letter. And get someone else to proofread it for you too. Any mistakes that are picked up can quite often lead to your application being ignored as it is an easy way for recruiters to disqualify you!