It goes without saying that cover letters can be tricky to crack – one rogue apostrophe or oddly phrased sentence and a recruiter won’t take you seriously.
And though you may be asking yourself: What’s the point in a cover letter? Do people even read them? The answer is, it does depend entirely on the role you’re applying for, but generally if an application requires you to provide a cover letter that means they want you to sell yourself, and provide a personal profile out with your CV.
So how do you master the art of the pitch?
With decades of experience in recruitment, we’ve hand selected our finest tips on writing the perfect cover letter, from striking the right tone to spinning a fascinating professional narrative.
Think About How Your Skills Will Enhance The Business
Instead of screeds of ‘this role would be so valuable in furthering my knowledge of…’ think about what you can do for the business. How will your skills further their business goals? What unique skills and experiences will you bring that other candidates might not have?
Focus On The Numbers
If you’re really keen to impress, then provide statistics alongside claims. General statements about how you many clients you gained for the company in a year leading to the generation of new projects is all fine and well, but focus on the numbers to back up with evidence. Be specific and detailed.
Tell A Story
Though writing may not be your strong point, talk about how your personal experiences are tied to the brand or business. How did you first get interested in the company? Why would you like to work for them amidst hundreds of other competitors?
Don’t Be Afraid To Show Creativity and Passion
Your language, style and tone should always be securely in professional realms, but if you really want to show off a personal flair, don’t hold back when it comes to relaying your passions, especially if they connect directly to the role at hand. Need some help with creativity? Why not pair your cover letter with a creative CV.
Focus On The Skills You Do Have, Not The Ones You Don’t
If you don’t possess a criteria from the ‘desirable experience’, instead of claiming that ‘despite your limited experience’ in that category you are capable of the job, focus on the skills you do have that are potentially transferable. Honing in positive experiences and relaying cases in which you have learned new skills quickly will be more likely to impress.
Be Professional, But Not Predictable
This depends entirely on the nature of the job you’re applying for, and while it’s crucial that your tone maintains professionalism throughout, it’s important not to sound generic, robotic or too formal. You could potentially come across as a bit boring and insincere, so remember to input some of your own voice in there too.
Make Sure It’s Proofread By Someone You Trust
It could be the chief of all cover letters ever written, perfectly phrased and super professional, but if there’s one slight mistake, it’ll look sloppy. There’s no point putting in all that hard work unless you have a friend (or two) proofread before you send it. That’ll eradicate any errors and ensure that the final copy is pristine.
Don’t Simply Repeat Info On Your CV
Don’t just regurgitate what’s on your CV. The point of a cover letter is to entice an interviewer to meet with you, so demonstrate your interests, passions and the personal qualities that you’ll bring to the job. If a recruiter wants more information on your work experience, then your CV will provide a more accurate background.
What have your experiences been writing cover letters? Do you find them easy or hard? Let us know what you’re keen for help with on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember you can read more career advice over on our blog.