How to write the perfect cover letter

When applying for jobs, many people make the mistake of sending out a generic cover letter to multiple employers. Sending out a generic cover letter is deemed lazy by employers, as it does not show your interest for their company, the job role advertised or inform them why your experience is of value to them. Here we will share our top tips on how to write the perfect cover letter.

Got a mental block when writing a cover letter

Do you find it hard to write a good cover letter? Check out our top tips below.
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Focus on the job and company

No longer is it good enough to simply write a few paragraphs detailing your skills and accomplishments within your cover letter. Today you need to go the extra mile if you want to beat your competition and impress employers. First and foremost, it is important to demonstrate your interest for the company and the role you are applying for within your cover letter. Once you have done this, you can then go on to sell yourself and explain how you can make a difference to the company. This will tell employers that you have done your research on the company and have firm belief that you could be of value to their organisation.

Keep it concise
Your cover letter should be no more than three paragraphs. In the first paragraph you can introduce yourself and explain your interest for the company, in the second paragraph you can provide a summary of your skills and experience, explaining why you will be of value to the company and the third paragraph can be used to wrap it up. If you think about how many cover letters the employer has to read, it is unlikely that they are going to spend more than twenty seconds on each, so you need to make sure your cover letter is short, punchy and to the point.

Show that you have read the job description
It can be incredibly frustrating for employers when people apply for jobs without reading the job description. Show prospective employers that you have read the job description and are the right candidate for the role by including a couple of the top qualities mentioned in the job description, within your cover letter. Be sure to give examples that demonstrate how you have used the skills or qualities in the past. This will show the employer that you are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience for the job role and are therefore worth their time.

Refrain from regurgitating your CV
Another pet peeve of employers is when applicants regurgitate their CV in paragraph form and call it a cover letter. If the employer likes your cover letter, they will read your CV afterwards. Keep them as two separate entities. Pick out highlights from your CV to include in your cover letter and any experience that is relevant to the job role you are applying for, but refrain from telling the employer about your 8 A*-C GCSEs.

Make sure you address your cover letter to the right person
Address your cover letter ‘To whom it may concern’ and you can guarantee that it will end up straight in the bin. If you are serious about landing the job, you will need to take the time to find out the hiring manager’s name, so you can address your cover letter properly. There are numerous ways you can find out the information you need, for example doing a search on Google, looking on LinkedIn or even simply phoning up the company and asking. It is also important to make sure you spell their name properly. Employers will appreciate the extra effort!

Taylor your letter to the respective employer

After you have written your cover letter, make sure you proofread it for spelling and grammar mistakes.
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Proofread your cover letter
Do not be the person that included great content in their cover letter only to miss out on getting an interview because of silly spelling mistakes. Once you have finished writing your cover letter, proofread it and then proofread it again. It is also recommended that you get someone else to read through it, as they may be able to spot mistakes that you cannot see yourself. Typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes are a sign of sloppy work and will not go down well with the hiring manager.

Although writing a cover letter may be the last thing you want to do after spending time perfecting your CV, it is a necessary step during the job application process, which can go along way in helping you land your dream role. Follow the tips outlined in this article and you should be well on your way to writing a fantastic cover letter. If you need any more help or have in questions, you know where we are!

Image credits: isabisa & KatieKrueger

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