COVERING LETTERThe cover letter is a tool to help introduce yourself in a memorable, personal way during a job application. A well-crafted cover letter goes over information on your resume and expands this information for the reader, taking them on a guided journey of some of your greatest career and life achievements. A covering letter is also equally important as a resume or CV. Proper care should be given to writing a covering letter as it can be considered as one of the most important weapons to acquire job.
Many recruiters and employers read the covering letter first. Some will not even consider your resume until they are satisfied by the content of your letter. So it is a very important document.The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the resume to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture. Your resume then needs less tweaking with each application because the letter, which must be different each time, does that for you.
A good cover letter should not just repeat your resume in a shorter form, but should convey the employer what it is about the job that is attractive to you and why you want to work for that employer. You will also need to include the unique skills and the qualities you bring to that job and the company and explain how your qualifications add value to the organisation.WHEN TO SEND A COVER LETTERYou should always send a cover letter with your CV unless you are expressly asked not to. The only exception is if you are posting your CV on a database/ with an agency where it will be seen by numerous employers, in which case a Profile on the CV itself is helpful. Even if you have explained your motivation for applying on the application form, it is still worth sending a separate cover letter. This is because the cover letter gives you another opportunity to market yourself and can strengthen your chances.TIPS TO WRITE A COVERING LETTERYou need to do research on the employer and the job prior to writing the covering letterCovering letter has to be written in an engaging style using specific keywords applicable to the jobIn the cover letter, you need to show that you have made the effort to learn about their company by acquiring relevant knowledge before going to the interview, if you are chosen.BEST PRACTISESThere is no official format for your cover letter or the information you include in it, but your cover letter should be visually organized, and orderly in its presentation of information.left92710Show how you can solve specific problemsShow how you can solve specific problemsMentioning that you’re a problem-solver’ is about as helpful as explaining your preference for chocolate croissants over regular croissants. Don’t boast about your amazing problem-solving skills. Explain the details of a particular problem you were solving and how exactly you employed your skills to solve it. Better yet, if you know the company has a particular problem you could help solve, explain show you can help solve it.left744562. Pick an appropriate voice and tone2. Pick an appropriate voice and toneYou should write like yourself, but you should also pick the appropriate voice and tone for the company you’re applying to and check for spellings at the end.Searching about the company will help dictate the tone you want to use, which may vary greatly, depending on where you apply. For example, the tone of your cover letter for a legal consulting firm will likely differ from a tech start up.left88903. Tell your story3. Tell your storyTelling stories from your career is a great way to demonstrate your skills and give hiring managers or recruiters some insight into your personality and work style.When looking for the right stories to tell, always look to the requirements for the position in the job description.It is also helpful to research about the company further online to get an idea about the company’s culture like scrolling through the website and understanding their vision and mission. Before drafting your cover letter, compare your skills with the requirements for the position.It can be helpful to use Venn diagrams to brainstorm and find what competencies you want to highlight and what specific experiences you want to share. After you create this diagram and right18796000identify what falls into both circles, overlapping subjects will direct and inspire the content of your cover letter.Suppose, if you are applying for a marketing director position, among other aspects in the description, the job requires several years of handson marketing experience, a deep knowledge of lead generation, and strong communication skills. Describe how, in your previous role as a marketing manager, you ran several campaigns for your clients and exceeded their expectations of lead generation (with specific numbers, if possible), and how you trained and mentored new associates on how to manage their own accounts, which improved client retention rates. Try to quantify your achievements.Your anecdote is accomplishing a lot at once”it’s demonstrating one of your top hard skills, lead nurturing, and showcasing how you can collaborate with trainees, communicate effectively, and educate new employees on processes and client relations. You’re proving that you can meet the communication standards and marketing knowledge they’re seeking.left2874164. Honesty is the only policy4. Honesty is the only policyImplying or stating that you have a skill that you don’t actually have will come back to bite you upon being asked to use that skill in the interview or on the job. So try to be honest while writing your covering letter.left2487175. Be Unique5. Be UniqueHiring managers read the same basic cover letter repeatedly, and you don’t want to be the last template email the hiring manager discounts before lunch. Make the first paragraph strong and you can stand out from other applicants by adding a little variation in the usage of words. 019240500Instead of describing yourself as creative, try imaginative. You’re inventive, not innovative. You’re not determined, you’re tenacious and add coachability instead of learnability. These word variations at least show that you can think beyond what the average applicant is willing to do.You can make your cover letter unique by:Telling a compelling story from your careerAddressing the recruiter by name Giving a unique visual format to your cover letterleft2788226. End with a call to action6. End with a call to actionEnd your letter with a reason for them to contact you. But don’t add remarks like, I’ll call to schedule an interview. This doesn’t make you a go-getter, it crosses a boundary.Instead, let the call to action, be polite and open ended, conveying that you are excited to offer more information and that you’re looking forward to talking with them. left3556007. Proof read your cover letter7. Proof read your cover letterAlways proofread your cover letter for errors and have friends and family read through the cover letter.THINGS TO AVOID1. Avoid overused phrasesThe average cover letter is going to be extremely generic and contain overused expressions such as Thank you for taking the time to look at my resume or I believe that my set of skills make me a great fit for the job. Avoid words like:To Whom It May ConcernI’m not sure if you knowDynamicPlease feel freeSignificantSelf-Starter, Detail-Oriented, and Forward-ThinkerReally, truly, deeply2. Never include irrelevant informationNever include irrelevant information in your cover letter. Irrelevant information can confuse or bore the recruiter, causing them to miss important points in your cover letter.Example:COVER LETTER CHECK LISTCover letter checklistBefore you send off your letter, use final checklist to ensure your letter is as strong as possible.Have you:Done your homework so that you are clear about what the employer wants?Given clear evidence of how you meet the most important criteria of the job?Kept it to one page or less?Put your most important evidence in the first half of the letter?Explained your research clearly in a way that non-researchers could understand?Asked a friend to proof read it and ensure the language is succinct and clear?Addressed it to the right person?Given a convincing explanation of why you want the job?Ended with a summary of why you would be perfect for this role?