February 28, 2017 / News
Cover letters are vital to securing a job. Some employers even contend that cover letters hold more weight than a resume when it comes to choosing the best candidate. This is because cover letters provide a more textured view of the candidate, since it goes into why they are applying and contextualises their experience, in terms of the position that is being offered. When done right, a cover letter can give your application the boost it needs to get you noticed amongst the competition.
Here are a few tips to help you craft a great cover letter.
1 - Address The Employer By Name
It may sound like common sense, but it is important to make sure you address your cover letter to an actual person (if possible). This will highlight your proactivity and initiative as a candidate, since you took the time and effort to do your research and find out who they are. Also, people tend to pay more attention to something that is specifically addressed to them, rather than just a generic letter. Do not fall into the trap of using 'To Whom It May Concern', or 'Dear Sir/Madam', as it is antiquated, commonly used, and also gives off a lazy impression.
2 - Tailor It To The Position And Company
In order to cut through the competition, you should stay away from creating a one-size-fits-all cover letter that you indiscriminately send to all employers. A generic cover letter will be obvious to the employer and may prevent your application from being considered further. Instead, you should create a tailored document based on the requirements of the role, and the expectations of the employer and the company. The best way to do this is to look at the job description, highlight any keywords that are used and take note of any overarching themes (for example, the job description indicates that they are looking for a 'leader'). These words and themes should then be woven into your cover letter, along with concrete examples of you demonstrating these traits. This will help frame you as an appropriate candidate for the position.
3 - Don't Regurgitate Your Resume
Your cover letter should be its own distinct text and not merely a regurgitation of what you have included in your resume. The cover letter should be a more in-depth look at you as a candidate and why you believe you are the best fit for the position, rather than a run-down of your career history. You should also only focus on a few of the major highlights from your resume that are the most relevant, and elaborate on your main tangible achievements from these experiences. This will allow your cover letter to expand upon your resume and enable the recruiter to get to know you better.
4 - Keep It Concise
Your cover letter should be short and sweet. It should be punchy and get straight to the point, with as little waffle as possible. Employers are busy people and only have a limited amount of time to analyse each application that ends up on their desk. By keeping your cover letter concise, you will be able to present your case to them while you have their full attention. Employment experts suggest that your cover letter should only be up to one page and broken up into distinct paragraphs. These paragraphs should discuss key topics, such as an introduction of who you are, why you're interested in the role, what makes you qualified for the role, and your experiences.
For more resources on the topic of writing a cover letter, check out the links below:
- The Balance: 'What to Include in a Cover Letter for a Job'
- Hudson: 'How To Write A Cover Letter'
- CareerOne: 'How to write a winning cover letter'
If you are looking for a job opportunity anywhere across Australia that's perfect for you, contact us at Workfast today!