5 things you need to know about writing your cover letter
While a CV is often considered the key part of any job application, your cover letter is the first thing a potential employer sees, and in some respects, is even more important. A cover letter can make all the difference in landing your dream job, so it’s good to hit the ground running and make a strong impression from the outset.
So, before you get started on that all-important application, here are five tips to help you write a great cover letter.
Remember the purpose
The cover letter demonstrates your suitability for the role and should entice the employer to further explore your application. Think of it as a billboard that highlights what you can potentially offer an employer. Your CV is the complementing document that provides the evidence to support your claims. Remember to avoid reiterating large sections of your CV in your cover letter. Instead, take the time to show your creativity and craft an original letter that provides relevant information, examples of skills, and which ultimately convinces the recruiter you are the perfect candidate for the role.
Keeping your cover letter to a single page ensures it looks professional. While it is important to elaborate on your skillset, sometimes less is more and being concise can ultimately work in your favour. Pay special attention to smaller details such as addressing the letter to a specific person, avoiding generic phrases, blanket statements, and the use of appropriate language and tone. Also, try to avoid sending the cover letter as a Word document; save your cover letter in a PDF format to ensure that it looks as amazing to the recruiter as it does to you.
Do your research
Conducting your own background research is an important step in demonstrating the correlation between your core values and those of your prospective employer. Take the time to read through the company’s website, mission statement and vision, and incorporate some of the key themes into your cover letter. This will show the employer that you have a comprehensive understanding of the company and that you’re a good ‘cultural fit’. You can also use this research to draw parallels with your own work experience or accomplishments to further support your suitability for the role.
Focus on what you can do for the company
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and think about what skills or experiences you would look for in an employee. Do your skills match what they are looking for? Can you enhance the organisation with your previous experiences and expertise? Rather than focusing on corporate perks and a decent salary, use your cover letter to show that any future relationship will be mutually beneficial to both parties. They will receive a hard-working dedicated employee and you will be part of an organisation you truly believe in.
Writing a cover letter may seem like a monotonous task, and while many people get bored writing them, it is important to remember that recruiters will also get bored of reading the same generic statements. Take this opportunity to stand out from the other candidates and get your personality across to the employers. Use interesting and unconventional methods to display your unique personality and why you would be a good addition to the company. For example, if you’ve recently completed a marketing course and are applying for a marketing position, why not add links of your past social media campaigns to highlight your accomplishments as well as your creativity and dynamism.