Making Your Cover Letter Count
A well-crafted cover letter can make all the difference when applying for a job, determining whether your application will make it through the shortlisting process and be placed directly in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile. Creating a cover letter that stands out and is engaging, informative and professional is the goal for any job hunter. This blog post will explore the main strategies for making your cover letter count.
When applying for a job, including a cover letter and your CV is essential. Cover letters are unique to each job you apply for. They provide employers with a short introduction, a summary of the skills and experience employers seek, and a thank you for your time and consideration in considering your application. Cover letters demonstrate that you are both passionate and qualified for the individual job you are applying for and are a great way of helping you stand out from the competition.
What makes a cover letter successful?
For a cover letter to be successful, it needs to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills and experience for the role and that the job is also important to you. Here are three key strategies for achieving this:
Researching the company: Researching the company you are applying to will help you create a tailored and unique cover letter. In your letter, refer to the information you have found about the company, such as its current products, services, areas of expertise or customer base. This lets employers know that you have taken the time to research their business and understand why they are hiring.
Writing a unique introduction: The opening sentence of your cover letter is very important. You must ensure it is punchy to capture the reader’s attention and show off your writing skills. This could be achieved through expressing how your skills and experience are relevant to the job or highlighting a shared interest in the company’s work.
Tailoring your knowledge to the company: Demonstrating that you have the relevant experience for the role and are familiar with the company you are applying to is essential. Explain your responsibilities in previous positions and how they apply to the job you are applying for. This helps employers visualize you in the role and feel confident that you know what you are taking on.
What NOT to include in your cover letter
Now that you know what to include in your cover letter, it is essential to consider what NOT to have. There are a few things to consider:
Overly personal information: Your cover letter should not be too revealing as this could make the employer uncomfortable. Your religious beliefs, sexuality or political views are unnecessary to include in the cover letter and could even hinder your application, so it’s best to leave this information out.
Exaggerating or lying: Never exaggerate your experience, qualifications or skills. A brief mention of relevant capabilities is acceptable, but honesty is essential. If the employer finds out your claims are false, this could severely damage your chances of getting the job.
Focusing on irrelevant experience: Stick to the job requirements in the job advert when describing yourself and your experience. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on irrelevant skills or experiences – only mention relevant information to the job you are applying for.
Tips for an effective cover letter
We’ve covered Effective Cover Letter Tips previously but when writing an effective cover letter, remember some essential tips. Here are just a few:
Keep it brief and to the point: A cover letter should be no longer than one page and should contain only the most relevant information. Keeping it short gives the employer a quick overview of your offer.
Make sure to use the correct tone: When writing a cover letter, it is essential to use the right tone. You aim to be professional and enthusiastic without being too wordy, overly familiar or unprofessional.
Utilise keywords: Use the exact words in the job advert, i.e., keywords, to describe your qualifications, skills and experience. This helps employers identify your strengths as they read your letter.
Making the most of your cover letter
Once you’ve written your cover letter, it’s essential to ensure it is up to standard. Here are some key things to consider:
Proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes: Proofreading your letter before sending it is vital. Make it perfect by checking for typos, spelling mistakes and grammar issues.
Ensure your contact information is correct: Double-check that your contact information is included and valid. This should include your name, email address, phone number and postal address.
Highlight your main selling points: Showcase your strengths and explain why you would be an excellent fit for the role. Mention one or two issues related to the job and tie them back to your skills and experience.
Creating a unique and effective cover letter is essential for standing out when applying for jobs. Ensuring your cover letter includes tailored and relevant information to the job, gets your contact details correct and highlights your main selling points is the key to making your cover letter count. If you’re feeling stuck, research the company and pick out authoritative points within their website. Keep it punchy, proofread your letter, and use keywords to help push your application through the ranks.
In summary, a well-crafted and informative cover letter can show employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. It is an excellent way of ensuring your application gets noticed. By taking the time and care to create a solid and engaging cover letter, you will be one step closer to landing your dream job!