Writing a brilliant cover letter
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2022 by Dean Bruce — No comments
A cover letter provides you with a further opportunity to tell the recruiter why you should be called for an interview. Not every employer asks for a cover letter, although it’s always a good idea to send one. Why would you want to miss another chance to convince the employer you are exactly what they are looking for?
Tailor your letter for every application
Some job seekers use one generic cover letter for every application. This is a mistake. Whilst your letter may contain the core content, every job will have slightly different requirements. The more closely you can align your cover letter to the specific requirements of a role, the better it will work for you. Read the person specification and use this as the basis for your letter by showing how, where and when you have demonstrated the criteria they are looking for.
Keep the cover letter brief
Most employers will spend just seconds reading a cover letter. There is therefore little point including lots of detail. Keep your cover letter to three or four brief paragraphs. Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and summarise why you are applying for the job. The remainder of the letter should highlight how you meet the requirements of the person specification by using specific examples. Examples are important as it shows the reader in no uncertain terms that you have the right expertise.
The cover letter should by aligned with your CV
Quite often when we review CVs a customer might say ‘I didn’t include achievements in my CV as I put them all in the cover letter.’ You should include examples of achievements in both your cover letter and CV. They need to work independently as well as together. Pick two or three of your most significant achievements and repeat these in both your CV and cover letter. Repetition is the basis of all advertising so it’s no problem to repeat information in both.
Consistent formatting and presentation
Make sure there are coherent themes for each paragraph in your cover letter. Address the respondent by name if you have it as a more personalised approach is better. Include the job title and reference number as headings at the top. Do not rely on spell checks alone – proof read your cover letter separately to make sure there are no typos. Sign off with a warm message along the lines of ‘I believe I have all the expertise and qualities to succeed in this role and would welcome the opportunity for an interview’.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to Rail Business Daily.
In addition to a CV writing service they can help with LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. You can get things started with a Free CV Review.