If you’re looking for a job, a cover letter is an important part of your application. Many job seekers make the mistake of not attaching a cover letter as they think it’s less important than a CV, however it’s an important opportunity to give more information about yourself and your suitability for the role – and it may well be an essential part of an employer’s recruitment process.
Below are a few simple tips to help you ace writing your cover letter and land that dream job:
❌ Don’t rewrite your CV
Your cover letter allows you to add a personal touch to your application and helps show the hiring manager why they should hire you, however, don’t fall into the trap of repeating what you’ve already written in your CV. Use your cover letter as an opportunity to share a summary of how your skills match those required within the job role.
✅ Keep it short and sweet
Cover letters shouldn’t be more than one A4 page. Hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to trawl through thousands of cover letters, so making yours short and concise to get the main points across will make it easier to read and less likely to be put down!
✅ Write an attention-grabbing introduction
Your introduction should highlight your enthusiasm for the job role and the company. Aim to make a memorable impression on hiring managers aso they give you more consideration when deciding whether to move you to the next stage of the hiring process.
If you know who the hiring manager is for the role you're applying for, address them by name. This will show that you’ve done your research and make the letter more personal.
❌ Don’t be afraid to talk about your previous achievements
Shout loud and proud about any achievements or qualifications you have, and relate them to the role in question to show their value. For example, if you’re applying for a sales assistant role you should tailor your cover letter to include any experience you have in sales, communications and problem solving.
✅ Always proofread!
This may sound obvious, but so many people either forget or don’t bother to proofread their cover letter. This is so important as it could make or break whether you get through to the next stage of the application process.
❌ What you shouldn’t include in your cover letter
Don’t overshare - add some personality to your application but make sure it’s on a professional basis that applies to the job role. Keep it career-focused!
Don’t brag – companies want to hear about your achievements, but don’t boast. Overselling your accomplishments could make you lose sight of what the hiring manager is actually looking for.
Don’t focus on what you want the company to offer you - the point of a cover letter is to show what you can offer to the company you're applying to. There’s time to find out more about the job and company during the interview. Focus on selling yourself for now
Don’t miss the company’s instructions – they may ask you to submit your covering letter as a particular file type for example. Take an extra 60 seconds before hitting send to make sure you’ve completed the application as requested.