Put into perspective this is just a short piece of writing to succinctly explain that:
- You have relevant skills and experience
- You are someone who makes a positive contribution
- You are a potential personal fit for the company
Whilst sending an existing CV requires minimal effort, the research and tailored writing needed for a cover letter requires a little time and consideration. The preference to leave research and preparation until an interview is confirmed is a natural one. However, you have got to get that interview in the first place…so this inconvenient step in the process has got to be tackled.
The good news for you is that most cover letters range from the formulaic and boring, to the self-congratulatory and full of unsubstantiated claims. Or, worse still, people write about what the role will do for their career, rather than what they can bring to the role and the business. By simply avoiding these common mistakes, your cover letter will have already achieved more than most.
When a well-written cover letter hits the desk of a hiring manager it’s highly valued. With countless application forms and CVs to review, cover letters greatly assist the first cull of applications and heavily influence candidate selection. This short, but powerful letter highlights an individual’s capabilities, as well as their understanding of the role and interest in the company. In addition, the cover letter demonstrates which candidates have actually taken the time to research the company and gives an indication of presentation skills and personality. A cover letter can actively determine whether you are ‘in or out’ at an early stage.
Think of the cover letter as a component of your personal branding. Keep this in mind and apply it to a good letter structure and you will have given your application a significant boost. This short guide on how to write a cover letter will help you:
State the job and where it was advertised in a simple professional sentence
This is your opportunity to gain the reader’s attention. Demonstrate enthusiasm for the role; if you have a specific interest or personal connection with the brand, company or role, tell them. Building connections and rapport is a vital part of the recruitment process. Write with an engaging, motivated tone and keep it to just a few lines.
This is where you make a compelling introduction as to who you are (highlighting your skills & experience). This needs to then be linked to some key achievements. Study the job description and choose the most relevant examples to share.
Reiterate your strengths and why you feel you are a good match/would add value. Ensure the tone is professional and keen throughout, but never pushy. Needless to say, make sure your closing valediction corresponds to the letter’s addressee.
A good cover letter format strengthens an accompanying CV, by bringing the most relevant aspects of your expertise to the fore. It can make a more personal introduction than a CV ever can and helps create empathy and a firm foundation on which to build in your (confirmed!) interview.
We hope you’ll see this letter in a whole new, appealing light! Alternatively, we love crafting influential cover letters for jobs; call us we’d be delighted to help.
For additional pointers on how to write a cover letter, you may find our list of cover letter do’s and don’ts useful.