Now you’ve read our Top Tips for writing the perfect CV and your CV is ready to go, is a CV on its own enough? Most employers are looking for candidates who have gone the extra mile to stand out, and a cover letter is the perfect way to set yourself aside from the other applicants.
What is a Cover Letter?
A Cover Letter is a document that goes with your CV/ job application, it gives you a chance to introduce yourself to employers and explain why you think you are the most suited candidate for the job. cover letters are usually no more than one page long, with just a few paragraphs. Each paragraph will be slightly different and will give you the chance to really shine!
Tips for Writing a Cover Letter
1: Research, Research, Research!
Before you start writing your cover letter, take the time to research the company and learn more about their products and services. Try searching the business name in Google and looking at any recent news stories, check their social media accounts too. The more information you have the better, this will help your cover letter stand out from the crowd.
2: Address your letter to the right person
A Cover Letter is your chance to speak directly to the employer, so you need to make sure you address it to the right person. Most job advertisements will list a name, you can use this name when addressing your cover letter. If the job posting doesn’t have a name you should start your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam.’
3: Your opening paragraph
Our next top tip for writing the perfect cover letter is to pay attention to your opening paragraph, as this is where you want to attract someone’s attention! Your opening paragraph is your chance to introduce yourself and explain a little bit about how you found the job. You can reference the job title, or if you’re not applying for a specific role, make it clear which kind of job you’re looking for. This is your chance to show them how keen you are to work for them so make it count!
4: Show why you’re the right candidate for the job
Your second paragraph is all about showing why you’re the right fit for the job. Things you can include to help demonstrate this:
- Your skills – are you a good communicator? Do you work well in a team? Are you organised? Employers look for skills that will help you succeed in the job so try and match your skills to the ones needed for the job.
- Your work experience – did you complete some work experience in a similar role? Include examples of any work experience that show you are the right fit for the job.
- Your values – company’s often look for candidate who share the same values as they do, so be sure to include any values that you share.
5: Give extra information to support your application
This is your chance to include any extra information that will help you be considered for interview.
- Volunteering – did you do some volunteering that helped you gain new skills? Including examples of volunteering shows employers you are will to go that extra mile to develop your skills and knowledge.
- Awards – did you receive any awards, you can include things like Duke of Edinburgh, Cadets, or any other activities you took part in?
Include any information that you think will help your application get noticed.
6: Wrap it up
Our final top tip for the perfect cover letter is to always close your cover letter by thanking the employer for taking the time to consider your application. Tell them you are looking forward to hearing from them and indicate your preferred method of contact, email, telephone.
7: Signed and sealed
When signing your cover letter remember to sign it off in the right way. If you have written to a named person sign off with ‘Yours sincerely’ if you started your letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ sign it off with ‘Yours faithfully.’
If you are submitting your application by email or online, attach your CV and cover letter and either submit on their website, or email it to the correct person. If you’re sending a paper application, print your CV and cover letter and pop them in an envelope neatly with a clear address label on.
Remember, if you are applying for a few different jobs you should change your cover letter for each. What works for one job won’t always work for another. Whether it’s a job in retail or construction, a cover letter shows employers you have gone the extra mile to stand out!