Does Writing a Cover Letter Fill You With Dread? Don't Worry, JR Personnel Have you "Covered"!

Many employers will ask for a cover letter as a means to distinguish the good from the bad when it comes to candidate applications, but what if writing letters and tooting your own horn just aren’t your thing? Don’t worry, we can help.

Below are some key tips to help you write a compelling cover letter and remember, keep the letter to a single page; the letter is supposed to be there to enhance your CV and give a greater impression of your abilities and why you would be the best candidate for the position, not to go into great detail

  1. Personalise the cover letter to whichever company you’re applying to, ideally addressing it to the hiring manager or the person doing the interviewing directly. As a recruiter I have seen countless applications from candidates who have clearly used an old covering letter talking about why they want a job in finance when actually, they’ve applied for a job in customer services. I cannot stress this enough, a cover letter which clearly doesn’t address directly the company you’re applying to just, comes across as half hearted, a little bit sloppy and uninterested in the role.
  2. Do your research. It’s important for a cover letter to not be too long but you want to show that you’re interested in the company and the role you’re applying to. Perhaps pick out a couple of key facts or statements about the company which have compelled you to apply.
  3. Don’t make it too long. The cover letter is the introduction to your CV so doesn’t need to be too long, but it can be utilised to explain why you think you would be a good fit for the role or why you specifically want the position you’re applying to. Your CV should do all the “qualifications” and “experience” talking you need to do so use your cover letter to offer a small insight into you and what you can bring to the role.
  4. Think about the position you’re applying for and match your tone. If you’re a student who has no professional experience yet make sure you impress upon the reader your enthusiasm for the role, highlight your personality and what you are looking forward to about starting work. Likewise if you’re a senior candidate with realms of experience relative to the position you’re applying for, always relate back to the qualifications you have and invaluable experience you can bring to the role.
  5. Match your cover letter to your CV. That means, use all the same fonts, margins, spacing, sizing, colours etc. etc. etc. for consistency and for ease of reading
  6. Try and avoid clichés. It’s likely the hiring manager has seen 100 other CV’s from candidates who are “hard working, self-motivated individuals” who can “think outside the box”, it can be difficult to do this but when describing yourself you should focus on your actual achievements rather than generic phrases.

Hopefully these tips will help you to write a confident, informed and well planned cover letter – new job, here you come!