A good cover letter is the first chance you have to make a great first impression. Recruiting managers can often see hundreds of applications so making sure yours stands out is crucial for landing that interview.
Applying the following cover letter tips doesn’t take much time, but it can certainly make a difference in how successful you are on the job hunt
If you apply the following tips for writing a good cover letter in your next job application, you are setting yourself up for success.
How to write a good cover letter:
Customise each cover letter
Make sure to write a different cover letter for each application. While it might be tempting to submit a generic one for all the jobs you apply for, hiring mangers can spot these a mile off.
Take the extra time to write something specific to each job application and your cover letter is more likely to get to the top of the pile.
Many companies now employ the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which scan your submitted documents for key words that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
To make sure your application isn’t overlooked, be sure to use specific terms and phrases relevant to the job you are applying for.
These can usually be found in the job adverts role description under ‘required qualifications and experience’ or ‘desired skills’.
Hiring managers can spend a lot of time looking at cover letters. The best cover letter is one that makes them stop to actually read what you wrote instead of skimming for key terms and phrases. This is a chance for you to give them a glimpse of your personality and why you are interested in the role and the company.
There are many templates out there for cover letters however, sticking to a simple one is probably your best bet. For some types of jobs such as government roles they may require a specific format, or for creative roles or sales positions may require a recorded introduction.
Always be sure to read the job advert thoroughly so you are sure you are ticking every box on your cover letter.
Whichever template you use always make sure to include your contact information, a greeting, the body of the cover letter, an appropriate sign off and a signature for that extra wow factor.
Keep to the point
Another tip for writing a good cover letter is to keep it concise. Again, make sure you read the job advert to see whether they have a certain length they require. Otherwise keep it to one page, two at most.
Your cover letter is like an “elevator pitch”, you want to sell your application in a short and punchy way to grab attention and make the reader want to look at your resume.
Don’t repeat yourself
One of the simplest cover letter tips is to make sure you are not just rehashing your resume in your cover letter. While a cover letter and a resume are telling the same story (how good an employee you are) they do it in different ways.
The cover letter is there to highlight and summarise how your skills and capabilities detailed in your resume fit the role you are applying for.
Before you send your application in re-read it! Think about what should be in a cover letter for the role you are applying for and if there is anything you should add. Check for mistakes, or, better yet have someone else proofread it for you. Simple grammar and spelling mistakes are easy to fix but are costly if you miss them.
If you need any further assistance applying these tips to your next cover letter, remember your employment consultant is always there to help.