For many businesses, the cover letter is an integral part of the selection process: it is how they cull who they would like to interview for the position from the hundreds of candidates who may have applied. Rather than seeing it as a chore, view it as your first step on the road to your next career move!
Having said that, there are some instances where a cover letter is generally not needed. These include:
- When there isn’t space to upload one in an online application.
- When you have been contacted about a job by someone you know well or have worked for before.
- When the application process is more casual, such as when or you are applying for a job via social media like Facebook, or LinkedIn, where your professional profile is available.
How to create an effective cover letter
When you do write a cover letter, it needs to set you apart from the other candidates.
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid any confusion by clearly stating the position you are applying for.
- Address the person whose name is on the job advertisement.
- Get their attention by ensuring your first paragraph stands out.
- Outline the reasons why you are an outstanding candidate for the position.
- Outline your experience, skills and qualifications and how they relate to the job requirements.
- Show enthusiasm, passion, drive and keenness, don’t assume that’s a given simply because you’re applying for the position.
- Use keywords from the job ad.
- Keep your cover letter to one page.
- Carefully check spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Correctly format your letter.
- Include your contact details.
Your cover letter is a golden opportunity to outline why you are an outstanding candidate – focus on your skills, achievements, vision and talents – and don’t forget to mention what you feel you would bring to the company.
Do you need some help crafting a winning cover letter? Talk to us about creating a cover letter and resume that stands out from the crowd.