How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter
Your CV is ready to send and now it’s time to write the cover letter. People usually find this the most daunting part of their application. How do you really standout and sell yourself in just one page?
First thing’s first, always write a unique cover letter for each job you apply for. It’s okay to have a general template but almost every hiring manager will be able to tell if you have sent them a generic cover letter that has also been received by 20 other companies. This shows a lack of interest in the company and also a lack of effort.
A general guide to follow would be to begin explaining why you want to work at that company and in the particular position you’re applying for. This is where research can be really useful. You will stand out if you show a thorough knowledge of the company and your goals, objectives and ethics align with theirs. Remember, this is an introduction so keep it concise but do make sure you really communicate your intentions.
Next, you need to answer the question: Why me? Why should they hire you over every other applicant? This may seem like an easy answer but you should not copy your CV. They already have this information. What they want to see is your experience put into context and a justification of your ability to fulfil all the necessities laid out in the job description. If you did not include something in your CV that you feel is important, this is your chance to share it. Keep your writing interesting. This isn’t just a list, it’s something that needs to capture the attention of the employer whilst also giving them a sense of your personality and who you are. Focus on what you contributed to the company or organisation, not just what you did. Then tailor this to the prospective employer. This is how they will know whether or not you will fit in at their company, which is why your personality is in some ways, more important than your experience.
Finally sum up why you and this company would be a great combination. What you think you could bring to them and what they could offer you. This will also be a summary of what you have previously spoken about.
Always conclude with a phrase that shows intention and expectation. “Look forward to hearing from you” is a safe bet. One thing to remember is that your cover letter is your opportunity to really show what makes you different from other applicants, so do it well.