How to write a cover letter worth reading
We’re going to say it - cover letters are a bit annoying. They take a bunch of time, and it can be a bit tricky knowing what exactly you’re supposed to be saying.
Having said that...they do remain a pretty crucial part of the job application process for many companies, as they put a lot of weight in the quality of your cover letter, or as is more common these days, your cover email.
This is because they do serve a purpose. For many companies they’re seen as a good marker that you’ve done your research prior to applying. If you haven’t put much effort into your cover letter, why would they spend time progressing you when you’re seemingly unwilling to do the bare minimum at the first hurdle?
So here's a few tips to help you get your cover letter spot on and secure you that interview.
The format for a cover letter is standard and can be followed for any cover letter you write.
Let them know the position you’re applying for
Your relevant skills/experience
How/why you’re suited to the role
Ask to be invited to interview
It can be tempting to just rewrite your CV, but this means that the cover letter doesn't actually add any additional value in it's own right. Instead, use the cover letter as an opportunity to offer the highlights of your CV that make you a good fit for the role and the company and shout about your history and skills to give an insight into you, your personality, and why you want the job.
Show that you've done your research into the role, and aren't just sending out blanket cover letters to every company with a vacancy. Include key points that have attracted you to the role, and reference reasons why you would like to work for the company.
To do this research, check out their website and their social media platforms. Even do a quick Google search - see if they've popped up in any news around the web. You could even look at their Glassdoor profile - this can offer insight into the company and it's culture, and give you an idea of whether you'd like to work there.
4. Give evidence of your successes
When you're shouting about your skills and experience using relevant examples, be sure to quantify what you're saying. Facts and figures are more impressive and informative than an airy statement that doesn't mean much without numbers to back it up.
Your cover letter is another opportunity to sell yourself, so this sort of thing adds weight to your application.
5. Keep it brief
As with your CV, keep it as relevant and concise as possible. A few paragraphs following the format mentioned above, keeping it to one page.
6. Contact details
Don't forget to include ways in which they can get in touch, and even the best times for them to call. This is helpful and ensures that they know exactly when and how is best to reach you.
7. Spellcheck it
And, of course, never send anything without checking it for any spelling or grammatical errors. Let a friend look over it too, to sanity check it. Then you're good to go!
Any questions or comments? Get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.