Writing a killer cover letter is a mostly overlooked way of standing out to a future employer. It is a great way to sell not only your skills but your personality too, and to tell a bit of your story which you can’t do in a CV. It should also answer the ultimate question of why you are the perfect candidate for a role.
Check out this article we published a little while back to determine whether you need to put the time and effort in to crafting a masterpiece and if you do, we've put together some pointers to help you on your way.
Your letter should be no more than 1 page, and whilst it’s tempting to squeeze everything in, try to stick to the most
compelling information. Most employers will skim read your letter so it’s important to mention if you have been recommended for the role upfront, likewise talk about any relevant awards or special skills.
Your cover letter needs to be changed for every job application you send. No two jobs are exactly alike and
therefore your cover letters shouldn’t be either. Don’t use a generic greeting on your letter, find out who the letter
should go to and address it to them personally. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, you can usually find this information out
through the company website, LinkedIn or by calling the company. If you aren’t sure who is the most relevant person, look for an internal recruiter or the Head of HR.
Thoroughly read the job description but also research all you can about the company so that you can cite specific
reasons for applying there. Understanding the skills needed will help you explain why you are the perfect person for this role.
THE RIGHT CONTENT
Start off with a short paragraph about you, highlighting some key facts or relevant experience. Then talk about why
you want this job in particular and the specifics that interest you. The main part of your letter should talk about why you are the perfect candidate for the role. The job description is likely to be a checklist of the skills needed for the role, so
cover as many of these points as you can and give examples of your relevant experience. Remember to think about what they want to read, not just what you want to say.
Be honest and genuine, remember you’re communicating your personality too. Don’t be too formulaic in your letter and avoid cliché phrases such as “team player” and “hard-worker”. Instead use situational examples to show your attributes.
Finally, remember that you are using the letter to sell yourself and therefore having errors or spelling mistakes in
it is not going to give your prospective employer the right impression.
To find out more about what you can do to put yourself in the best position to land a job, check out our free 2021 Getting a Job guide here!