Looking for a new job can be time-consuming and writing a cover letter is often the most difficult part of applying for a job. Yet it has a significant impact on your success in finding a job. A good cover letter gives your potential new employer a deeper insight into why you are fit for the job. It is thus essential to devote sufficient time and attention to this.
Sofie Vercammen, Talent Acquisition & Learning Specialist at staffing specialist Walters People, shares four important tips for writing a cover letter that will ensure you score and land your dream job.
Customise your cover letter
Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. A cover letter should not be vague or general - it should clearly reflect why exactly you want to work for the organisation you are applying for.
Sofie: "In your cover letter, you want to highlight why you would be a valuable addition to the team. Customise your letter to match the skills and abilities required for the job, by adding some phrases and skills mentioned in the job advertisement.
Also include a section to show your interest in the industry and why you want to work for this particular organisation. This will show the hiring manager that you are motivated to be part of their company."
Provide a good foundation
When you apply for several jobs at once, there is a danger of rushing when preparing your cover letter. This can lead to mistakes that drastically reduce your chances of being invited to an interview.
"Hiring managers often read cover letters cursorily and interpret misspellings or typos as evidence of nonchalance or sloppiness," Sofie explains. "If your letter contains such errors, your application will most likely end up on the no pile immediately. So take enough time to write your cover letter and read it thoroughly."
Don't rewrite your CV
This is something job applicants frequently miss: your cover letter should not be a repetition of your CV. Your letter is separate from your CV and is used to give additional reasons why someone would want to hire you. So above all, don't start writing out a summary of the information already found on your CV.
"Use your cover letter to stand out," advises Sofie. "Showcase your skills and expertise and explain why the job on offer is right up your alley. Let your feelings speak while writing and be sincere; that way, your letter is sure to impress."
"Try not to overload the hiring manager with every little detail of your career, but give only the most relevant information. The trick is to reveal enough to arouse interest without making it a long-winded letter. Remember that being invited is the first step: during the interview, you will have the chance to explain your career and capabilities in detail," Sofie knows.
Don't underestimate the power of a good cover letter, it is just as important as your CV in scoring your dream job. Your cover letter needs to stand out and be remembered for the right reasons. By sticking to these simple tips, you will be one step closer to your next job.