With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving so many without work or looking for new work, cover letters became a crucial part of any job application. It can set you apart from other applicants, and it’s your chance to tell the potential employer who you are, a brief overview of your experience, why you’d like to work with this company and why they should hire you. Please see some tips below to help you write an incredible cover letter and get your application noticed.
- Write a New Cover Letter for Each Position
Whilst this may be more time consuming than a standard cookie cutter cover letter, it will be worthwhile in the end. Cover letters that are generic such as: To whom it may concern, I am excited to apply for this open position within your company” will likely end with your application not being considered. That’s because it’s apparent that you haven’t taken the time to tailor the cover letter to the company you’re applying to.
Of course, there are some phrases and sentences that you could move from cover letter to cover letter, but don’t use the same one for each role.
- It Doesn’t Have to be an Essay.
Know that your cover should be less than one page, typically structured with a greeting, introduction line, a couple of short paragraphs and a sign off message.
- Introduction to who you are and why you’ve applied for the position.
- An overview of your current role or experience if relevant to the role you’re applying for and the skills you’ve learnt to bring into this new role you’re applying for.
- Why you’d like to work for this company, within the role applied for and why you’d be a good fit and the best candidate for the position.
Remember, this will be attached along with your CV, so they will see all of your fantastic experience, skills and attributes there. Don’t try to jam-pack your whole CV into your cover letter.
- Use a Template
As I mentioned above, you should not use the same generic cover letter for every position. You can however create a template to keep your core skills and phrases so it makes the process of writing a new cover letter for each role easier. There are many great cover letter templates already out there to help you get started and give you inspiration.
- What to write – Part 1 – The Greeting
The greeting is very simple, and there is no need to complicate it. If you have the hiring manager’s name, use it. “Dear Mrs Amber Smith” if you do not know their title Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs/Dr then don’t include it.
If you do not know their name, avoid using terms such as ‘To whom it may concern or Dear Sir/Madam’ as it seems cold and a little outdated. Instead, try to address the cover letter to the head of the specific department that you are applying to. For example: “Dear 32 White Dental Practice Manager”, or “Dear Regent Street Boots Hiring Manager”. This way, although you haven’t been able to find the correct person’s name, you are still making it personal. It will show the company that you have tailored your Cover Letter accordingly.
- What to Write – Part 2 – Opening Line
First, it’s important to write an engaging opening line. This way, the reader is hooked and will want to find out more about you. Something simple about who you are and that you’re excited at applying for this opportunity.
Example: I am a motivated, ambitious individual with experience in (example: sales, client liaison and account management). I am excited to apply for the position of (example: Customer Service Manager) within (insert company name – example: John Lewis) as advertised on (Insert platform e.g. Indeed). Please find my CV enclosed for your consideration.
- What to Write – Part 3 – First Paragraph
Give a short overview of what you do in your current/most recent role and focus on your experiences and achievements in this job. Relate your skills back to the role that you are applying for to show them why you are the perfect candidate for this position.
Don’t just reiterate what is on your CV, but use the cover letter to expand on a few key points. Employers will want to know how you approach certain tasks, how you took steps to accomplish them, and also what skills or personal attributes you used to complete the task.
- What to Write – Part 4 – Second Paragraph
For this paragraph, you want to focus on why you’d like to work for this company, within the role applied for. Employers are also interested in what you can bring to the position and company. Try to research the company and see areas you feel are a particular weakness/pain points that they could improve upon. Then put emphasis on the skills and experience you have which makes you the right person to solve them. You can dcopy and paste the text of the job description into a word cloud tool and see what stand out. Those words are what the employer is looking for, so you can mirror those words in your cover letter.
- What to Write – Part 5 – Closing Line
Something short and simple as a closing line should be more than enough. Example: Thank you so much for your time and for considering my application. I hope to bring my industry expertise and experience to an organisation like yours, where I can contribute to its growing successes.
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