Rest assured cover letters do get read, to some recruiters, they’re the most important part of your application. While it might be easier to let your CV speak for itself, you’d completely miss the opportunity to tell your prospective employers who you are, showcase why they should hire you, and stand out above all the other candidates.
Ready to get started? Read on…..then get writing.
Don’t Start With Your Name
Because, well, whoever is reading it can see it on your CV. Get right to the point with what you can bring to the job.
Don’t Regurgitate Your CV
Instead of just repeating your CV use your cover letter to describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze into the short space of your CV. A cover letter gives you the freedom to use full sentences, instead of bullet points, so use them to tell the story of why you’re the perfect fit for the company.
Show What You’re Capable Of
Beyond explaining what you’ve done in the past, show what you can do in the future, make it instantly clear to the reviewer that you can deliver, and then expound upon your strengths in a few of the priority requirements for that role.”
Focus on Your Skills, Not Your Education
At the end of the day, what employers care about most is your experience and what you can bring through the door and deliver on day one. Don’t apologise for skills you don’t have, stay positive, focus on your strengths, and immediately launch into your transferable skills and infectious enthusiasm for the position.
Tell a Story
What brings you to this company? Stories bring your background and experiences to life, so feel free to tell them. Just keep them short and to the point.
Use a Few Numbers
When it comes to the job search, numbers often speak louder than words. Offer stats to illustrate your impact on companies or associations you’ve worked for in the past. Employers love to see numbers, it shows them that you speak their language and understand what they’re looking for in an employee.
Cut the Formality
Don’t be overly formal It makes you seem insincere and even robotic, so different to the friendly, approachable, and awesome-to-work-with person you really are. When someone reads, ‘Dear Recruiting Manager, I am so excited to apply for the open position at your company, blah, blah, blah….. to progress in my career,’ he or she immediately recognizes it as a stock cover letter that you’ve blitzed every prospective employer with. And then probably throws it in the bin.
Be real and normal
Honest, genuine writing always goes much, much further than sticking to rules you’ve read in stale, outdated career guides. Try not to give them a load of old tosh, just write like a normal person. Avoid, at all costs, describing yourself as a “team player” or a “people person”, Instead, show off your skills with descriptive statements, they may be longer—but they’ll be stronger.
Write in the Company’s “Voice”
Cover letters are a great way to show that you understand the environment and culture of the company, spending five or ten minutes reading over the company website before you get started can be a great way to get in the right mindset—you’ll get a sense for the company’s tone, language, and culture, which are all things you’ll want to mirror as you’re writing.
Have Some Fun with It
Making your cover letter more creative will likely improve your chances of getting a call back. But still try to keep it short and sweet. Less is more remember, look for three to five paragraphs, tops. So skip lengthy exposition and jump right into something juicy.
Include the recipient’s name
Use their first and last name, including a “Mr.” or “Ms.” Never use “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear or Sir or Madam”—nothing could be more generic (not to mention archaic). Unless, after extensive research, you really don’t know it, then use nothing at all and get straight on with it.
Edit carefully, but think more about standing out
The most memorable cover letters are written by people who care less about convention and more about being conspicuous. Next time you sit down to write a cover letter, vow not to get uptight about all the tiny little ‘rules’ you’ve picked up along the way, and instead, give them the stuff that will make you a true shining star.