When writing a cover letter, you may have a few concerns as to the best approach. Here are 9 easy steps to ensuring you get the most out of a Cover Letter.
Spelling and Grammar check
It might sound simple, but a poorly written cover letter could be the difference between you being hired and another person. So, the first step is to double check your spelling and grammar!
Most word processing programs will have a form of spell check to help you spot any of these errors so don’t be afraid to use it. However, it also doesn’t hurt to get another person to look over the letter for you too.
The employer is not going to want to struggle to understand what the letter is trying to say and consequently that will look poorly on you since this letter should reflect you as a person.
So, remember… Spell check thoroughly!
Similarly, to the spelling etc. a poorly laid out cover letter can be debilitating for your chances. 3 layout tips are:
- The font should be easy to read, like Arial or Calibri.
- The font size should be at a 12 to keep it not too big nor small. (If it is too hard to read because of size or font then the employer may not think it is worth their time before reading it.)
- You should also break your text up into paragraphs, so it is not a block of text for the employer to read. When you are making a new point, you should make a paragraph break.
This is key to making yourself stand out to the company.
It shows you are willing to do more than an average applicant, showing interest in the company before even being hired.
Sprinkling in details of how your skills would fit into their company shows a level of understanding that they would admire before getting to meet you.
Incorporate Job Description and Company Values
Similar to researching the company, researching exactly what is expected of you is also extremely important.
A trick for this is to see what specific skill sets or values the company is looking for in a potential employee and weaving these into your cover letter so they will be made instantly aware of your compatibility with the company.
An example of this would be:
We are looking for an individual who values honesty over all other qualities.
I am an individual who strives to ensure that people are always presented with the truth of a situation, even if it may not be what they want to hear. I would handle the situation in a respectable, sensitive way but I will ensure that they know the truth. An example of this is when I…
Your cover letter is your time to show off who you are as a person, more than just your education, work life, or experience.
A cover letter allows the employer to see how well you would fit into the company, so it is imperative to show who you are in this letter. Yes, it is good to link your values with theirs but don’t forget to show yourself!
Do you have a passion for helping people? For learning new things? Have any hobbies you love?
Put all this in! It shows that you are human and have a passion for something and therefore can bring something new to the workplace. A cover letter is all about getting to know you on a personal level, not just in terms of achievements!
Cover letters should not just be a copy of your CV but should further show your skills through descriptions and examples rather than just a brief statement. Utilise this letter in a way wherein you can truly show the company how you have excelled in your endeavours!
If you have written a skill on your CV, bring it up here but expand on it, explain how you acquired or developed these skills through past experiences.
How did you improve relations with your customers in your last job?
How many sales did you make?
What type of content did you write about?
Tell informative anecdotes about your previous experience and/or education. State how you have overcome problems and obstacles to get the most out of your own experiences.
A tricky customer that you managed to cater for in the best possible way for the two of you? Write it here to show your quick problem-solving skills.
Started a new job with not much prior experience and managed to navigate it quickly? Write it here to show your ability to learn quickly and on the job.
Don’t focus on the negatives
If you do not meet all the requirements listed for the role, there is no need to emphasise that in this letter. If you do you are just telling the employer to have a negative view of you in their mind.
There is never a reason to bring this up yourself unless asked by the employer. They will be able to tell by your CV if you do not have the relevant experience etc so you will be wasting your time and the employer’s.
Instead, focus on the positives and how you fit the other requirements. Give them proof and a reason to hire you.
Confidence is key!
Now is your time to speak directly to the employer and tell them why you are the right person for this role.
If you believe in yourself, they will too! They won’t be interested in hiring you if you don’t believe they should. Emphasise the importance of your own skills and how it will help you with the advertised job.
Written by Kayleigh Berry