Cover Letter Tips

Cover Letter Tips

8 Tips For A More Compelling Cover Letter

Keep it short and succinct

Three paragraphs is a good length. You need to grabattention from your opening words. The first paragraph is your intro, second isthe core of your cover letter (see ‘Be Specific’ below) and the third and lasta wrap-up and looking to entice the reader to call you for an interview.

Write a cover letter for every application

That’s right, every application. Yes, it will take youanother 20 minutes or so. Is an extra 20 minutes worth it to potentially landan interview? If not then why are you applying for the role? All too oftencandidates send applications to too many roles rather than focus on the rolesthey really want and take longer on those. Nothing suggests “I’m not thatinterested in your role” more than using the same generic cover letter forevery application.

Address it to the name of the hiring manager or recruiter

Using their name will catch their eye and engage them toread on. It sounds simple, but it works. It also sets the tone that the coverletter has been written specifically for the role in question. Take the time tofind out who the hiring manager is.

Make it memorable

You might be the first or the fiftieth cover letter thehiring manager reads for a role. At least 95% of them will have the samegeneric opening paragraph, yours needs to stand out from the crowd. Becreative!

Be specific

Writing that you believe you have skills that suit the jobdescription is a waste of time. You wouldn’t be applying if you didn’t have theskills required. Write two or three succinct bullet point examples of how youhave demonstrated in the past roles achieving the key requirements of the roleyou are applying for.

Match tone

We are not suggesting you change your own style but beaware of how the job advert was written as it often hints to company culture.If you know who the business is, review their website to understand theirculture and match the tone in your cover letter. Avoid being too casual, if youare unsure it is always better to be too professional than too casual. If youfeel it’s too big a stretch from your own personal style, then it may not bethe company and culture for you.

Don’t rehash your CV

You are sending your CV with the cover letter so don’twaste your time and that of the hiring manager by effectively creating amodified version of your CV. The cover letter needs to jump off the page – shortto the point. Of course, it will link back to achievements from your CV, butthe detail on the cover letter should be very specific to the role you areapplying to.

Get someone else to read it before sending it

Most employers value attention to detail and it is often arequirement in many roles. Spelling mistakes and errors in grammar may meanyour application fails at the first hurdle.