Searching for jobs can often be an exhausting process. Constantly having to showcase yourself in order to be considered. And one of the ways that prospective employers ask you to do this is through the cover letter. While it can be overwhelming to explain why you’re the best fit for the job, for some employers they are an essential step in the application process.
But What Is A Cover Letter?
A cover letter is your chance to go into detail about your skills and experience, particularly in relation to the job you are applying for. A cover letter is used to demonstrate your interest in the role, passion for the company, and the impact you've had in previous positions. And while it may be true that only 35% of recruiters admit that cover letters do not materially influence the hiring process for them, one of those 35% could be your ideal employer! A cover letter is a great way for you to introduce yourself to a company, and show why you would be the perfect match.
What Things Need To Be Included In A Cover Letter
There are three things that every cover letter needs to include:
How a candidate’s work experience meets job requirements
How a candidate’s skills meet job requirements
Why a candidate wants to work at the organisation
However, it is vital that you don’t just repeat the information in your CV. The cover letter works alongside it, it isn’t a copy of it! Writing a cover letter is an art form all its own, and if you're not careful, you could end up ruining your chances. Here are some tips to help you write an effective cover letter that gets results:
Tell Your Story
Make sure to tell your story so that prospective employers understand why they should hire you. If there's anything unique about you or your experience — even if it doesn't seem like something employers would care about — now's the time to mention it. If there's anything negative about your past (which is likely), put it in context and explain how it has made you better at what you do now.
Don’t Count Yourself Out
Prove that you can do the job by explaining how your skills and experience align with what they need. This is particularly important if the company hasn't provided much detail about the role or responsibilities of the job in its listing or description. You want to show them that there's no reason for them not to hire someone with your background over someone else who may have more relevant experience.
Read The Job Description
Be specific about the place you're applying to. Talk about why you want the job, and how it aligns with what they're looking for. If there are specific tasks mentioned in the job description that interest you, mention those too! If you use keywords from the job description then it proves to employers that you have read it, and considered it properly! But also don’t be afraid to include things that differentiate you from other candidates – especially if it's relevant to the position or company at hand (e.g., if you speak another language fluently).
Don’t Go On For Too Long
Be short and sweet! Don't go on for too long and bore prospective employers with excessive detail. If the employer hasn't finished reading after the first page, they've probably lost interest in what you have to say. It's better to leave them wanting more than to leave them feeling like they've read too much.
The cover letter is one of the most important parts of your job application, so don't take it lightly. Hopefully with our tips, you’ll be able to write the perfect letter and stand out to top employers!