You’ve written a fantastic CV, one which you are sure will bag you the job of your dreams. So, now you just need to send it off to your recruitment consultant and wait for the jobs to roll in right? Well, not quite! In fact, now you face the possibly more challenging task of writing a winning cover letter, one that will highlight your skills, personality and tip the odds in your favour to get you a place in the hot seat at interview. This is where we can help you with our top tips on how to write a great cover letter that will help get your foot in the door…
Do make sure that your letter is tailored to each job you are applying for. Highlight skills and experience that you have, matching it up with what the employer is looking for in their advert. Give examples of when you have demonstrated these skills throughout your career history. Also, remember to mention the job you are applying for so the hiring manager can easily identify the role – it may well be one in many that they are handling at any one time.
You know what they say, first impressions really do count and this also applies to your cover letter – it is the first time that the employer has an insight into you and your skills. So, it is worth taking time to ensure that your letter is well written, is logically and clearly laid out and is grammatically correct – great thing, the spellchecker, so please use it! It is a good idea to ask someone you trust to proof read it too, just to make sure that any mistakes as picked up by a fresh pair of eyes.
Cut the waffle
The hiring manager will often have a lot of letters and CVs to sift through for each role, so keep your letter concise and relevant. Make sure that the letter compliments the CV by adding an extra dimension, not just a duplication. Try and keep the letter to about 3 to 4 paragraphs, and on one page. Any longer than that, and you risk your letter only getting a quick glance through.
We know it can feel like a chore to write a tailored cover letter for each role that you apply for, but it is well worth making the effort, especially if it lands you your dream job. And remember, once you have crafted a cracking template cover letter, you will only need to tweak it each time to tailor it for each job application.