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We often emphasize the significance of a polished CV, but an equally crucial component is a well-crafted cover letter. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer applying for internships, this is your chance to market yourself to potential employers. Dedicate ample time to both your cover letter and CV. Here are some starting tips:
- First Impressions Matter: Your cover letter’s opening line sets the tone. Craft it to capture attention and demonstrate enthusiasm for the role.
- Customize for the Job: Avoid generic templates. Tailor your cover letter to address the specific job requirements and company culture.
- Highlight Achievements: Instead of merely listing tasks, showcase your accomplishments and the value you’ve brought to past roles.
- Address the Hiring Manager: Whenever possible, find out the hiring manager’s name and address them directly to create a personal connection.
- Keep it Concise: Recruiters often skim through applications. Be brief, yet compelling, aiming for one page or less.
- Show Passion: Companies appreciate candidates who are genuinely excited about the role and the industry. Let your passion shine through.
- Include Relevant Keywords: Many companies use software to scan cover letters. Incorporate relevant job-related keywords to pass through these filters.
- Proofread Thoroughly: Typos or grammatical errors can undermine your credibility. Proofread multiple times or have someone else review it for you.
- End Strong: Conclude with a memorable closing statement, reiterating your interest and how you’ll add value to the company.
- Follow-Up: After submitting your application, consider a polite follow-up email or call to show your continued interest and initiative.
Write a letter without fail
Always write a cover letter, or at the very least a formal email, to introduce yourself and explain your suitability for the role – even if the job ad doesn’t specifically ask for one. This is your one chance to sell yourself and help to make your resume stand out from the crowd so don’t pass it up.Whether you’re experienced in your field or just starting out and applying for internships, always include a well-thought-out covering letter. this is your opportunity to sell yourself to recruiters or employersClick To Tweet
Avoid the temptation to try and make a lasting impression by writing a quirky or amusing cover letter. It’s impossible to know how receptive the person dealing with applications is to that kind of thing so it’s always best to play it safe. While it might work on rare occasions, for every interview you land by being ‘wacky’ with your cover letter, you’ll likely miss out on tens of others.
Cover all the bases
Be sure to cover each of the person specification points outlined in the job ad, explaining why you tick each of the relevant boxes. If you don’t have previous experience in some of the areas, be sure to give examples of experience you do have that you will be able to adapt and bring across to the new role. Also, be concise; while you want to get across just how perfect you are for the role, you also don’t want to bore potential employers. Keep it simple and save your best for the interview.
Investigate the employer
Do your research – it always helps to demonstrate that you know about the company you’re applying for a job with, and while you’ll want to save most of that for the interview, it can’t harm to show that you have an active interest in the company when writing your covering letter. Explain why you’re interested in the role, and more specifically, what attracts you to that particular company.
Explore the final details
Always address your letter to the relevant person – many ads will tell you exactly who to address in your cover letter but if it isn’t clear be sure to call up and find out. Not only does this show initiative, but putting the right person’s name at the top of your letter also looks so much better than ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Also, sign off in the correct fashion – if you have opened with the recipient’s name, finish with ‘Yours sincerely’. However, if you have begun with ‘Dear Sir’, then you’ll want to end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
Keep it fresh
Write a new cover letter for each job application. As tempting as it might be to re-use a standard template for each new application, you won’t be making the most of your chance to impress your prospective employer if you fail to tailor the letter to that specific position. And besides, if you send off a letter and forget to change the name/company from your last template then the place you’re applying to will be on to you straight away – and if they feel that you’re too lazy to write a unique cover letter, they’re unlikely to see you as a viable candidate.
Check it before sending
Double-check your letter for spelling and grammar mistakes. You want to give the best impression possible, so run a spell check and get somebody else to have a read-through to make sure your words scan properly.
Beat out the competition for the best jobs
Create an image of accomplishment, professionalism, and competence that today’s employers are begging for!