In a world where most job applications are sent online, the need to separate yourself from the competition has never been more important. Providing a cover letter to an employer could be the weight in the balance if you’re shortlisted for a vacancy, so it’s essential you write a cover letter that’ll get you noticed!
Keep it short and professional. Remember that employers see a lot of CVs for their roles so they will quickly scan a cover letter to find out a) if you can do the job and b) how you can add value to their business.
Make a special effort to highlight what you can bring to the role that is unique and the difference you can make for the company. i.e. 'My experience working in this particular sector means I am fully capable of understanding the kind of economic pressures that the company faces'
Dedicate a small paragraph to show how you have made a difference in the past for your current/previous employers. What work-situations did you overcome with success? How have you exceeded your targets in the past? Take this as an example:
“I generated 10 leads as Project Manager in X Company, of which Y Company signed a £1M contract.”
You can then apply this example to the success of the company you are applying for:
“I am willing to go beyond your sales target, to achieve X, Y, Z objectives with as much success as I did with X employer”.
Avoid negative experiences or personal stories. Keep it professional. Speak about the employer's needs before your own expectations. Finally, use a confident (not arrogant) tone of voice and be straight to the point.
Other key points to consider:
- Tailor your cover letter to the job you are applying for, e.g. job title, job description, company name
- Treat your cover letter like an extension of your CV. Expand on the skills & experience you have and relate them to the role.
- Detail your strengths and how you can drive return on investment for the company you are applying for.
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