A cover letter has one simple purpose: to get you the interview.
It’s generally your first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager.
So it needs to show clearly and concisely that you understand the employer’s needs and how you match them.
Remember, a cover letter is not a copy and paste of your CV. It should complement it, but never duplicate it.
You also need to be very clear on the job description before you start writing.
A well-crafted cover letter is an opportunity to pitch yourself directly into the role you want. And to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
Here’s a guide on how to do that.
1. Prove you understand what the company is about and how it views itself. Reflect this back to them in your letter. If you think they’re the best at building relationships with clients, tell them about your desire to be part of that service using your own proven communications skills.
2. Before you start, ask yourself: What can I offer? Make a note of the relevant, specific achievements and skills you have that will make the employer want to call you and arrange an interview.
3. The body of the letter should demonstrate your suitability for the role. Pick a maximum of three skills, strengths or abilities you know will fit with what’s required. Outline each one in its own snappy paragraph. Make sure these are all clear and specific and supported with examples.
4. Think of what will make the reader’s job easier. Try and keep your letter to a page.
5. Research who’s hiring and try to personalise your letter by addressing it to the hiring manager. Platforms like LinkedIn are good ways to find names and titles.
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