Unfortunately, many people put so much effort into crafting their CV that they either neglect or completely forget to include a cover letter. Your cover letter should support your CV by capturing the attention of the employer and encouraging them to consider your application for the role on offer. To make sure you present yourself as the best person for the job, here are Career Savvy’s top tips for creating a successful cover letter.
Get to the point.
First and foremost, you must address the letter to the appropriate person, even if this involves getting in touch with the company via phone or email to discover the correct name. Once you’ve covered the basics such as the position you’re applying for (including the reference number where appropriate) the location and how you came across the job ad, you need to get straight to the point. Concisely explain why you’re suitable for the role, how you’re different from anyone else and why this specific job grabbed your attention.
Evidence your research.
To prove your interest in the company you need to evidence your extensive knowledge of the business. Refer to company goals and/or recent events/products/services that you’re impressed by and how this played a part in attracting you to the role. Give specific examples rather than making sweeping statements so the employer is fully aware of the amount of research you’ve completed. Add a bit of flattery (without going overboard!) when describing what you admire about the company as this will help you butter up the employer before they’ve even heard about how you can benefit the company.
Prove you’re a match.
The most important goal of your cover letter is to highlight to the employer exactly how your skills and experience matches the requirements in the job ad. The examples you provide should clearly represent how you’re going to benefit the company if you’re hired and why you’re qualified to handle the job. Your cover letter is where your personality can shine through, so make sure your passion and determination is evident. However, avoid describing your endless qualities and instead focus on verbs that explain specific examples of relevant actions you have taken that would make you a success in this role.
A great way to know whether your cover letter has waffled on too much is if it is over one page of A4. The employer needs to see evidence of good communication skills therefore you need to articulate your skills and experience briefly and concisely. One thing you must avoid at all costs is repeating the information detailed in your CV.
Nail your closing statement.
Use your final sentences to inform the employer of your next steps, for instance when they can expect to hear from you again e.g. a follow up email a couple of weeks after submitting your application. Just make sure you fulfil your promises. By including a plan of action and a statement that shows your eagerness to hear back from them, you will confirm your passion and determination to the employer.
So if you’re struggling to create a cover letter that helps to present you as the perfect candidate, follow these five tips and give yourself the best chance of passing the first stage of the application process. For more cover letter and CV advice, see here.
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