When you are applying for jobs, you should always send the company a CV and a cover letter; the two go hand in hand. Consider your curriculum vitae to be the overview of you; the bullet points that detail your achievements and experiences, and your cover letter to be a more detailed explanation of you; specific reasons how and why you and your skills fit into the role that you are applying for.
So how do you write a cover letter? We have devised the ultimate five things that you must include in your cover letter if you want to get the job!
If you know the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter and CV, then address them by name. If you don’t know their name, is there any way of finding out? Try LinkedIn or the company’s website.
- A good intro
Having a good introduction can be the difference between the interviewer reading your cover letter or throwing it on a pile with all of the other ones. In your introduction, you want to include; your intention/why you want the role (a quick background of you; what you are currently doing for work/what you studied in relation to the role), when you are available and what the role will mean to you. Be specific here too; make sure you mention the company name and the role you are applying for.
- Relevant examples
Choose 3-5 essential or desirable traits that are listed on the job specification and explain, with relevant examples, how you have portrayed these qualities before. For example, if one of the essential traits is ‘good communication skills’, you could write about a time that you worked in a customer facing role and helped a customer find a certain product.
- A good mannered ending
In the words of Clarence Thomas, “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” The interviewer is looking for someone who is polite and friendly; nobody wants to work with a rude person! So when you come to the end of your cover letter, which should only be 4/5 paragraphs long and no more than a page, thank them for viewing your application.
E.G. ‘I look forward to hearing from you and once again, thank you for viewing my application. Kind regards, *your name*.’
Remember, you don’t have to be as formal in your cover letter as you do in your CV, obviously you must keep it professional; don’t go telling knock, knock jokes. However, your cover letter can show a little more personality, something that will help make your application stand out against the other candidates.
Happy writing and good luck!