Have you found your perfect job opportunity? Are you confident that you meet all of the requirements and you’re ready to send over your perfected resume? Don’t be so quick. Most likely there are many other similarly qualified candidates who are also hoping to get hired.
Including a Cover Letter in your application is an effective way to stand out from your competitors and impress hiring managers with your writing skills. It will also let them know more about yourself and your skills, experience and aspirations within their company.
Do your Research!
Similar to our previous advice about the research before the job interview, it’s important to find out basic information about the company you’re applying for. Try to go beyond what’s in the job description. Find out more about the organisation and its culture, the industry it operates in, and the goals of organisation.
If possible it’s useful to find out about the person who will be reading your cover letter. You can use that to address them directly and impress them with your research skills and attention to detail!
Structure of the Cover Letter
If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time it might be useful to look through or use some of the templates available online. They’ll have the necessary information formatted and put in the right place. That includes the date, heading ,and most importantly – contact details.
Before you’ll start writing the main body of your letter, make sure to address the hiring manager. If you know who will be responsible for the recruitment process address them directly. Otherwise, you can use proven sentences such as ‘To the Hiring Manager’ or ‘To Whom it May Concern’ if the information about the decision-maker is not readily available.
Keep your cover letter brief and to the point. Many hiring managers tend to skim through the letters so having the most important information easily readable will greatly improve your chances of being noticed. Usage of distinct paragraphs will make it easier to find the relevant information.
It’s recommended to structure your cover letter around 3 to 4 clear and concise paragraphs:
Paragraph 1 – Opening Statement.
This statement will explain the purpose of the letter. Begin by introducing the position you’re applying for. Hiring managers in bigger companies often go through many applications for multiple roles. This will make the process easier for the employer. It’s also a good idea to include a strong and concise statement about your motivations behind the application to gain interest and attention.
Paragraph 2 – Skills and Experience
Now it’s time to highlight your experience and skills relatable to the role you’re applying for. You can mention your education or transferrable skills. Don’t forget to explain how your experience would directly benefit the company you’re applying for.
One of the most common mistakes of cover letters is a repetition of skills highlighted on your resume. Make sure to expand on the particular skills and paint a fuller picture of your methodology and achievements associated with each skill.
You can mention your approaches to tackle a particular problem or highlight any of the personality traits that helped you be exceptionally good at a particular task or job. Don’t be humble but do not get overboard. Whilst hiring managers adore confidence, they’re skilled in spotting candidates who are bluffing.
Paragraph 3 – The Company
In this section, you’ll cover why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Explain why you’re attracted to the role, what are your aspirations within the company, and things you can offer to the organisation. This section can be used to show off your current knowledge of the company. Mention their campaigns, products, or services and relate these to your previous experience and skills.
Paragraph 4 – Summarise
Use this paragraph to reiterate your interest in the position and your willingness to attend a personal interview. If applicable, include any crucial details such as unavailable interview dates or willingness to relocate. Keep it short and sweet. You don’t want a cover letter to take up more than a page. Remember to sign off! If you addressed the hiring manager by name you can use ‘Yours Sincerely’. If not – ‘Yours Faithfully’.
More Useful Tips
Remember the formatting
Presentation is incredibly important. It’s the first thing that will be noticed by your hiring manager and might make or break your application. Make sure paragraphs are clearly visible and distinct and the document is as uncluttered as possible. Use a industry-standard font and make sure it’s the same font that was used on your resume.
Send your cover letter as a PDF File
PDF files retain their formatting and are not affected by missing fonts or different versions of Microsoft Office. That way you’ll make sure that your hiring manager receives the cover letter exactly as you’ve sent it.
Use Numbers to justify your accomplishments
If possible, use numbers and statistics to justify your accomplishments and skills. Hiring managers like to hear calculated evidence on how you improved your previous workplace processes, sales, or productivity.
Use a template
A lot of your formatting issues can be solved by using a premade template. It’ll save you time formatting the address boxes. Look for CV and cover letter bundles! Matching aesthetics between the documents will show your attention to detail.
Write in Company’s voice
It’s advisable to write your cover letter with a voice that’s fitting the culture of the company you’re applying for. Is it fun and creative? or formal and informative? Find out how your employer is communicating by visiting their social media and website. This will reiterate to your hiring manager that you’re the right fit for their company.
Edit and read it through. Then read it again!
Make sure to read through your cover letter when it’s done. Check the grammar, formatting and consistency within your sentences. Then, read it again. It’s the only way you’ll be able to see how your cover letter works as a whole piece. We’re sure you’ll have plenty of adjustments to make!
Have someone else check it.
It’s always a good idea to have someone else go through your cover letter. They can offer an invaluable advice and see it from the perspective of an outsider (just like your hiring manager would). If you can, have someone go through it.
A good cover letter WILL make you stand out!
No matter what a good cover letter will make you stand out among other competitors (especially those who just send a generic resume). Many hiring managers rely on these letters in order to gain more information about an applicant, their experience and knowledge about the company they’re applying for. So get to writing and find your next best opportunity today!
If you’re looking for a position within the industrial, technical, driving, engineering or construction don’t hesitate to contact our office or browse through our latest vacancies here.