Your cover letter is essentially every employers ‘first impression’ of you, therefore, it is vital you have a damn good one! We all know that unemployment rates aren’t at their best and competition for the few advertised jobs out there is extremely fierce, so creating the perfect cover letter is now more important than ever.
Working in the recruiting industry, I’ve found that the best cover letters follow these five rules. Use my insider tips to help you structure the perfect cover letter, make you stand out miles from the crowd and land you your ideal job!
Insider Tip #1 – Do Your Research
Setting aside a little time to do some company research is always a great idea. Subtly weave your findings into various areas of your cover letter to demonstrate that you have done your homework e.g. I have always wanted to work for a company that has won such and such an award. This will impress any hiring manager.
Insider Tip #2 – Always Find a Name
It is a great idea to address your covering letter to the hiring manager. A simple ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ isn’t enough; everybody does this and it’s not going to make you stand out. With search engines nowadays it is easy to find this type of information. If you can’t find a name on the company website, get on LinkedIn – you’re sure to find something there. Doing this will show the hiring manager that you have taken the time to ‘personalise’ your cover letter.
Insider Tip #3 – Dive Straight In
Get straight to the point and hit the hiring manager right between the eyes with a bold and confident statement e.g. “As a Director of Sales, with proven success of increasing sales by 70%…” Stay away from the slow and boring introductions.
Insider Tip # 4 – Tailor Your Cover Letter
Tailoring your cover letter to the job description is a must. If the job description has a list of essential skills that the company require from the successful applicant, make sure that you provide past experiences and examples where you have demonstrated these skills. Ensure you have read the job description thoroughly – If the job description is brief, pick up the phone and give the company a call.
Insider Tip #5 – End with a Call to Action
Include your phone number at the end of your cover letter and tell the employer that you look forward to hearing from them. I know it may sound a little blunt, but trust me, it works. It will demonstrate confidence which most hiring managers will admire – just remember to be polite.
Stick with these tips to create your perfect cover letter and you can’t go wrong!
About the Author
Jessica O’Donnell is a well-known blogger of all things career related. Working at Frazer John, a Manchester based recruitment agency, Jess contributes to their blog on a frequent basis offering great career tips and advice for all those looking to progress in their careers.