Friday, 14 October 2016

Top tips for writing a cover letter

The Lady Recruits consultant Amy Cosgrove tells us the top things to considers when writing a cover letter

The job market is now more competitive than ever, an average of 118 people will apply for any given role and only 20% will make it to interview. With odds like this, including a cover letter is the opportunity to make your application stand out that you can't afford to miss. Follow these tips from The Lady Recruits to make sure your cover letter stands out for all the right reasons.

Do your research
If you are guilty of sending the same cover letter for every job you apply for then STOP. Your application needs to be tailored to the company and role that you are applying for which will show real enthusiasm and is far more likely to get you through the door.

Don't forget you're writing a letter
If you can find out the name of the employer then use address the letter to them- if not Dear Sir/Madam will suffice. In the closing paragraph make sure you thank the recruiter for taking the time to consider you, if you have addressed them by name close the letter with Yours Sincerely, if not use Yours Faithfully.

Do keep things brief
The average recruiter will spend less than thirty seconds looking at your application, so be concise and get straight to the point.

Do have a structure
If you struggling to structure your cover letter, try identifying the key attributes and skills listed in the advertisement and provide evidence that you fit the brief. The first paragraph should be a short, snappy summary of why you are applying and why you are the right fit. You can go into more detail in the body of the letter.

• Don't make it all about you
This may well be your dream job and the big break in your career that you've been waiting for but the employer isn't interested in what they can do for you- they want to know what you can do for them! Focus on why you would be an asset to the company and what you can bring to the role.

Do be you
Obviously, you should stay professional but that doesn't mean that your cover letter has to be boring and full of clichés. Tell the employer what excites you about the company and position. If you think that you're a team player- don't just say that, give an example.

Don't forget to proof read
Including spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors is an easy way to get yourself eliminated before the recruiter has even considered your application. It looks lazy at best and at worst incompetent. Read your cover letter out loud to yourself to check that it actually makes sense- Microsoft Word won't pick up every mistake.


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