We all know that digital job specs, online profiles, and one-click applications are the way forward. Technology is moving at a crazy rate and it is bringing the jobs market with it. However, some companies will insist that you write an old-school cover letter. If you’re struggling to find the words simply follow our advice below.
Lay it out properly
It’s probably been a long time since you’ve written a formal letter. If you’re unsure how to lay it out follow the simple template below.
Your phone number
Your email address
Employer Contact Information
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Handwritten signature (for a posted letter)
Typed signature (for email correspondence)
A great way to start your cover letter is to express your excitement about the role. For example, ”I am very interested in the copywriter position at ABC Media. I have followed your company for a long time and I would love to work with you.”
If you’re passionate about the company, say so. People love to be flattered and hiring managers are no different. Enthusiastic candidates are also much more likely to become motivated workers.
Mention your contacts
If you know someone who works in the company put their name at the start of your cover letter. Name-dropping your mutual contact will help give the hiring manager a point of reference and might even give you an advantage over other candidates.
For example, ”My name is Jennifer Murphy. I recently spoke to your sales manager who told me about an opening in your IT team. She recommended that I contact you as I have lots of experience in this field.”
Do stand out
One of the easiest ways to get your cover letter noticed is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates applying. What makes you special? Why should they employ you?
Try to do this within the first few lines. Use phrases like, ”Unlike other journalists, I am fluent in three languages and have excellent shorthand skills.”
Don’t write ”To whom it may concern.”
Think about it, if an email like this arrived in your inbox would you read it? You’d probably presume it was spam. Hiring managers are humans too. Do your best to find the right person to address the letter too. It could make all the difference.
Add some flare
Your cover letter is your chance to show off your personality. To do this avoid redundant phrases and cliches. Because your cover letter is supposed to be unique, we recommend avoiding set templates. Sure you can use them to get ideas but make sure that you always personalise them.
Don’t undermine yourself
You should be bigging yourself up, not tearing yourself down. Never say things like ”I’m not the most qualified candidate” or ”I realise I do not have all the skills needed to fulfil this role.” If you’re worried about your own inadequacies you might want to put them out there straight away. This will do you no favours in the long run.
Focus on the company
Many candidates use their cover letter to talk about how great the role would be for their career, this is a huge mistake. Instead, try to identify the company’s pain points, then emphasise the skills and experience you have that make you the right person to solve them.
Keep it short and sweet
In general, you should try to keep your cover letter as short as possible, ideally one page or less. To do this you will need to be succinct and direct. It’s better to leave the hiring manager wanting more instead of telling them your life story right off the bat.
Double and triple check your grammar
When writing your Jobbio bio or a cover letter always check your work for grammatical errors. Use an online tool like Grammarly or ask a trusted friend/family member to read the letter for you. Remember the more eyes the better!