If you are applying for a job, it’s essential that you send the recruiter a covering letter to accompany your CV. A covering letter lets you target the job role in a very specific way and clearly demonstrates your skills and experience to the reader. It should be sent out with your CV for any role that you are applying for – even if it’s just a couple of paragraphs long.
Try to remember these rules when writing your covering letter:
- Adapt it for each role you are applying for. No 2 jobs are the same so your covering letter should be tweaked to the job spec for the particular role that you are applying for. A well written covering letter can make difference between your CV being read and it being thrown in the bin so please make it count!
- Make an impact. You need to grab the recruiter’s attention in the first paragraph so try to make it unique and powerful. Write a strong statement about why the employer should choose you for the role – what are your most relevant skills and experiences that fit in with the role?
- Keep it relevant. Don’t pour out your life story or full working history – keep it concise and snappy otherwise the reader will soon get bored. Remain focused and keep it to just a few paragraphs about what you could bring to the company and why they should recruit you.
- See it like a sales pitch to sell yourself to the recruiter. It’s a good way of telling the employer why you deserve the job over the rest of the candidates. Home in on the key responsibilities of the role and give examples of how you have the skills and experience to meet their requirements.
- Big up the company. Research the background to the company and any awards they have won or achievements they have met. You could refer to this in your covering letter – for example “you are the industry leader”. A little bit of flattery does nobody any harm!
- Finish off with a call to action – what do you want the reader to do next? You could try something like “I have attached a copy of my CV and hope you enjoy reading it. I look forward to hearing from you about this job”. And make sure you leave your contact details – email address and mobile number if possible. Make it easy for them to get hold of you if they like what they see!
- Finally, make sure you check, check and check again! Typo’s and grammatical errors in a covering letter can be a sign that the candidate doesn’t take care over their work and can look very unprofessional. 1 spelling or grammar mistake and your CV could be thrown away. Get somebody to read it over and don’t forget to run your spell check before emailing or printing!