That said, cover letters are tricky things to get right, and even tougher to get your prospective employer to sit up and take notice of you.
As we’ve covered before, it’s really important to tailor your cover letter to each job you apply for – this is the time to really sell yourself, so generic cover letters aren’t going to cut it.
With that in mind, here are some tips on creating the perfect cover letter!
1) Address the Correct Person
When you open your cover letter, it’s always a good idea to address the correct person within the company. Impersonal openings like “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern” will just make the employer view you as lazy – definitely not a good look before you’ve even got the job!
If the name of the hiring manager isn’t on the job specification, have a look on the company website or take a look at LinkedIn. Even if you need to ring the company to find the correct name, at least you’ve showed that you can take initiative!
2) Be Clear
In your introduction you need to clearly state which position you’re applying for as large companies may be hiring several people at once so won’t automatically know which role you want to apply for. Also state where you saw the job advertised as this is useful information for the hiring manager to have. You should also outline the additional documents you’ve included in your application, such as your CV, portfolio etc.
Keeping your introduction very straight and to-the-point will avoid boring the hiring manager and putting them off with long-winded and confusing cover letters – happy days!
3) Focus on What Makes You Unique
While the job description might ask for general things like “degree or equivalent qualified”, choosing to focus on this in your cover letter could end up scuppering your chances of landing an interview!
Think of all the candidates who will say they have degrees in their cover letter – there are a lot of them and nothing about that stands out! Focus on the things in your CV that make you truly unique and will spark the hiring manager’s interest, and include these in your cover letter!
4) Keep It Relevant
Despite our previous point, while unique qualities are important, make sure they’re still relevant to the role! If you’re applying for a Web Analyst role, maybe you don’t need to mention that summer you spent strawberry picking in your cover letter! Take a look at the candidate requirements and highlight the top three strongest, most relevant qualities you possess in your cover letter. Remember: the hiring manager asked for these skills for a reason!
5) Show Knowledge of the Company
In your cover letter, you also need to show why you’re applying for the job and why you want to work for this particular company. Using generic statements like you’ve “always loved” the company without backing it up with solid information will just annoy the hiring manager, and shows that you’re not being totally genuine.
Do a bit of research into recent news about the company – maybe they’re expanding or have recently won awards? Referencing this news as a reason you want to join the company will show that you’ve really done your research.
So there we go, some tips on how to create the perfect cover letter!