Writing an impressive cover letter
21st March 2022
Job searching in 2022? You may find yourself wondering if writing a cover letter is still necessary, and our answer? Absolutely. It is thought that at least 56% of employers still expect a cover letter to accompany a job application.
A cover letter shows prospective employers that you’re committed to the job and willing to put in the extra effort. It can set you apart from other candidates and help you stand out from the crowd.
We conducted a recent survey and found that 34% of candidates least like writing a cover letter in their job search. So, we’ve put together some tips to give you confidence in submitting a cover letter and make the process easier:
Research the company
Before writing a cover letter, you should take some time to dig a little deeper into the role you’re applying for and the company. You can then use this information to tailor your letter accordingly.
Some things you want to find out are:
- What does the company do?
- Who are their competitors? (this develops your understanding of the industry)
- Who are their target audience?
- What skills and experience do they value?
- What does the role involve and how does this sit within the rest of the company?
Start with a header
Include all essential information about yourself, including name, phone number, email, and the date you’ve written the letter on. Most of this information should already be on your CV, but this saves the employer having to go between the two documents.
Write an impactful introduction
It’s essential to catch the employer’s attention from the very first paragraph. Most candidates start with a simple introduction, stating who they are, their interest in the role and previous work experience.
For example, “With over 10 years’ experience at my current company, I wish to apply for the role of Creative Director being advertised on your website.”
As this is quite generic and a common opening from candidates, you could get lost in the sea of cover letters the recruiter is receiving.
To really grab their attention, start off introducing yourself and your top 2-3 achievements (most relevant to the company or role). This is a great way to impress the employer and shine the light on yourself.
Why you’re suitable for the job
In your second paragraph, describe your professional skills and how you meet the role requirements. Read the job description and identify which of the responsibilities are of high importance for the employer. You’ll need to demonstrate how you meet these and why you’re the perfect fit for the job.
If you’re trying to change role, industry, or struggling to meet all requirements, think about skills and attributes that are transferable.
Try to be specific and give examples of your skills in action.
For example, a statement like “I’m a team player” is very vague.
A statement such as “In my previous role, I worked with a team of 10 on a project and ensured everyone was working towards the same goal. This project led to a 12% rise in sales in first 3 months of completion” is more specific and showcasing what you can do.
What you offer the company
Now is your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company and that you’ll be a good fit for their business. This is also a great time for you to state exactly why you want the job and why you’re passionate about working for them.
Again, don’t be too generic just for the sake of writing something. It’s very easy to look up the values of an organisation and simply say these align with your own values. Instead, be as specific as possible, giving example of something they’ve done or detailed knowledge of their culture.
Closing the letter
Wrap up your cover letter by thanking the employer for their time or consideration and include a call to action. This could be the opportunity to discuss further or arranging an interview.
At this point, you should also double check the length of your cover letter. Whilst it is important to cover all the information we’ve advised; you don’t want to put off an employer because it is too lengthy. Aim for half a side of A4 or at a maximum, one A4 page.
Finally, make sure you proofread your letter before sending. Having put so much effort into producing the perfect cover letter, you don’t want to be let down by any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. There are some great online tools such as Grammarly that can help you check, or maybe even ask a friend or family member to look.
Our final checklist
- Have you done your research into the company?
- Have you provided all essential information?
- Does your introductory paragraph make an impact?
- Have you detailed why you’re suitable for the job?
- Do you state what you can offer the company?
- Did you close the letter with a call to action?
- Have you checked the length of your letter?
- Have you proofread and checked for errors?
Why Advance TRS?
We offer an in-depth candidate management process supporting you through interview, remuneration negotiation, resignation, counteroffer and notice period. Our consultants go out of their way to keep you informed throughout every stage of the recruitment process.
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