Behind every CV is a good cover letter…
A cover letter is an important part of almost every job application. You have to make sure that it sells your expertise's and abilities to the recruiters, try to do it in a brief and clear way so it makes the recruiter want to see you and contact you for an interview.
Do your research and research the organisation
Employers expect candidates to have a good knowledge of what their organisation does – meaning your ability to research effectively is vital.
When it comes to preparation, make sure you know the job description inside out and information about the company – and use this information to modify your cover letter accordingly.
Here are some bulletin points you should find out before you start writing:
- What does the company do?
- Who are their competitors?
- Who are their target audience?
- What does the role involve?
- What are the essential skills?
Once you’ve found the answers to the above questions, you will be able to adapt your cover letter to how your skills and abilities suit to what the recruiter is looking for.
Not only knowing the duties and required personal qualities help you to understand what the role is all about – it’ll also help you to identify just what the employer is looking for.
Then, you can alter your answers accordingly – coming up with examples and ideals that show you’re the best candidate for the job.
How to format a cover letter
Your cover letter should be well-presented, brief, and to-the-point.
Use a clear font, and don’t Use different colours, use different fonts, include unnecessary references, include a picture.
Ensure its written using clear paragraphs – it also should be the right length. Too long you will end up rambling, however too short and you’re likely to have not covered everything.
Plan for half a side of A4 (or one page maximum)
How to address a cover letter
Address your cover letter to the person dealing with your application.
Usually, the person name of email address will be on the job advert – and if not, don’t be afraid to find out. Look at the company’s website to find the name of a relevant recipient, and if you are unsuccessful – there’s no harm in calling the company up and asking.
By contacting the company and finding out the correct person to address your cover letter too, you’ll also demonstrate your initiative and genuine interest in the role.
If you do find a name – address with ‘Dear Mr Sherry/Dear Ms Smith’.
And if you don’t? Then use ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
How to structure a cover letter
There is no right or wrong way on how your cover letter should look, however making sure reads well is important so that you impress the recruiters.
Here are some guidelines of how your cover letter should look:
Opening the letter – Why are you getting in touch?
The opening paragraph should be short and brief, explaining why you’re getting in touch. It’s also handy to include where you saw the role i.e. as advertised on motortrader.co.uk. If someone referred you, mention their name in this section.
Example: I wish to apply for the role of General Sales Manager, currently being advertised on motortrader.co.uk. Please find my CV for your consideration.
Second paragraph – Why are you right for the job?
Briefly explain your professional and educational qualifications that are appropriate to the role and make sure you refer to each of the skills required in the job description.
Example: As you can see from my attached CV, I have over 10 years within the sales industry, and I believe the knowledge and ability developed during this time make me the ideal candidate for the role.
Third paragraph – What can you do for the company?
This is your opportunity to highlight what you can do for the company. Summarise your career goals (making it relevant to the position you’re applying for) and enhance on important points in your CV – including examples to back up your skills.
Example: In my current role as Senior Executive at Motor Trader, I have been responsible for increasing table sales and ticket sales for the Motor Trader Industry awards by 70% in less than 10 months; this helped the business increase its revenue by 35% from the previous year.
Fourth paragraph – Repeat
Here’s where you repeat your interest in the job role and why you would be the right person for the role. This is also a good time to point out you’d like to meet the employer for an interview.
I am confident that I can bring this level of accomplishment with me to Motor Trader and build your reputation as one of the UK’s best motor industry magazines. With my previous experience and knowledge, I think I can start actively contributing to the business as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Closing the letter
End your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the name of the person hiring you), or ‘Yours faithfully’ (if you don’t), followed by your name.