5 top tips for writing a compelling cover letter
Having spent hours perfecting your CV, you’re finally ready to apply for that new job. But wait, what about the cover letter? Is it really necessary in this digital age?
The simple answer is yes, you do need a cover letter even when applying for a job via email. This prevents your CV from being thrown in the bin (which may happen if an employer finds no cover letter attached) and enables you to grab recruiters’ attention from the start. It also immediately highlights your skills and abilities persuading employers that they should invite you to attend an interview.
So to help you write this compelling cover letter, I’ve provided my top 5 tips for writing a compelling cover letter below:
Keep it short
A good cover letter should be well-presented and concise. Don’t include excessive detail but do use easy-to-read font. Write your cover letter using clear, short paragraphs – between 3-5 is sufficient – and don’t make it longer than one side of A4.
Include the relevant information
Although it’s important to keep your cover letter short, you also need to ensure you’ve included all the relevant information. Open the letter by explaining why you’re getting in touch and move on to briefly describe why you’re suitable for the job. Make sure you outline what you can do for the company and finish with a call to action – a request to be given the opportunity to meet with the recruiter to discuss your application further.
Tailor your cover letter
The point of a cover letter is to expand on your CV and it should always be tailored to each job you apply for. Do this by demonstrating your knowledge of the company, as well as the sector, and by highlighting the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the vacancy.
Avoid clichés and jargon
Make sure you avoid clichéd phrases and jargon in your cover letter. You want to engage the recruiter, not use buzzwords that they’ve read a thousand times. Be clear, concise and professional in your letter whilst allowing your enthusiasm to shine through.
Check for mistakes
Finally, once you’ve written your letter, check there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical inconsistencies. Ask someone else to read it over too, as they might notice an error that you’ve missed.
Your cover letter is the first thing a recruiter will look at when considering your application. As they often receive lots of applications for each vacancy, you need to ensure that it makes a good first impression. By following these tips and spending time to create a compelling cover letter, you’ll have taken your first step to securing your new job!
Bio – Tanya Ces Maneiro
Tanya is our Find A Job coach. A hugely experienced coach, mentor and trainer who motivates people during times of transition in their careers, she brings a fresh and honest perspective. She is passionate about helping women to gain the confidence to move back into the world of work after a career break and find a job that’s both flexible and fulfilling. Tanya previously worked in HR for 10 years and has extensive experience in reviewing CVs and conducting interviews. She says “With my experience of recruitment, I know what employers are looking for in a CV and the answers they want to hear at interview. I love using this experience to enable individuals to sell themselves effectively when applying for jobs.”