Writing a cover letter can be tricky, but not impossible.
Ah the cover letter, the part of a job application that nobody really likes working on. Why is it that we find it so hard to sell ourselves on paper?
While very few people enjoy the process of writing cover letters, they are necessary for making a job application stand out. When you need to write a cover letter to apply for a job, it’s sometimes the small things that can make a big difference.
The closer to perfect your letter is, the better your chances are of impressing the hiring manager. So with that, here are some handy tips on how to write the letter, and hopefully get the job!
Identify who you’re sending it to
When writing a cover letter, it will be important to know who you’re sending to, or who will ultimately be receiving it. That way, you can refer to them by name in the introduction, and maintain a friendly approach throughout. Plus, it makes you look like you’ve done your research, which is always a plus.
Format and customise
With regards to your cover letter, it needs to be more than just words on a document. Make sure you format it like an actual letter, and include an introduction and a closing gesture. Along with that, make sure you customise your cover letter for every job you apply for. Much like CVs, having one generic cover letter won’t really benefit you. Make sure you customise you letter based on the job details.
Show your personality
CVs are where you show off your skills, education, experience and qualifications. However, your cover letter can allow you to show ff your personality a bit more, which is great. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, you don’t have to use awkwardly formal language or any of that. You want to come across as polite and professional, but not fake. Don’t use language that feels uncomfortable or corny.
Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have
Cover letters are a great opportunity to dive into a bit more detail with regards to your skills and expertise. However, we highly suggest that you don’t apologise for anything in your letter. If you are lacking a required skill or degree, don’t mention it. Focus on what you do have, and what you can bring to the role and the business.
Follow the instructions
Naturally, the most important thing is making sure you produce something that will be read. This means that the most important part of sending a cover letter is to follow the employer’s instructions. If the job posting says to include your cover letter and resume as an email attachment, attach Microsoft Word or PDF files to your email message. If the hiring manager says he or she wants you to submit your materials using an online application system, don’t mail a physical application.