A cover letter is a letter that formally introduces you to a hiring company. Without a solid cover letter a resume can be considered incomplete.
A cover letter is a sales pitch that explains a candidate’s past academic and professional achievements. It presents a case as to why the candidate is appropriate for a role.
A cover letter can also be considered as an attachment which accompanies a resume which should explain more about the applicant.
Below are 4 tips to consider when creating a successful cover letter:-
A cover letter must be specific
A cover letter must be specific and not generic. This means that it must reflect that you have read and understood the job vacancy. You have highlighted how your skills are suitable and can be applied to the job.
As an example, if you are living in country A but applying for a job in country B and you have some type of previous ties to Country B, it may be worthwhile including same in the cover letter.
These small details are impossible to include in a resume as these are mainly for your professional experiences. Familiarity with the location may turn out to be a key advantage.
A cover letter should be error free
Candidates can lose credibility in the application process if your cover letter has errors. Common cover letter includes spelling errors.
It is always good to ensure that you have the spelling correct of the name of the person to whom you addressing.
Mis-spelling a well known name such as Harry may show a lack attention to detail. This could mean an automatic elimination from the first interview process.
You can confirm the spelling by looking for the manager’s name on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can call the company to ensure that you have the accurate spelling.
Spell checks are also critical on your cover letter before dispatching. It is also wise to ask a friend or family member who has a detailed eye to proof read the document.
When time is not an issue and if there is no opportunity for a third party review, a good idea is to write the application on one day and proof read it the following day.
This gives you a better opportunity to recheck the document with a fresh pair eyes. Many at times, changes are easier to spot if the document is refined on the following day.
A cover letter adds value to a resume
Your cover letter must show how you can add value to the role and the business. This can be achieved by highlighting an extraordinary skill or talent apart from the obvious ones that the role requires.
Most candidates applying for a role which requires a degree will have this qualification. However, it is essential to show how you can add value to other areas of the business.
For example, if you are applying for a role in accounting but you have previous experience in marketing this could be highlighted in the cover letter. You are able to support the business in two functional areas. This can help a business operations as you can vacation cover if a member of the marketing team goes on leave.
If you are a recent graduate and you have never worked before but you have a blog or run a YouTube channel, this skill could be highlighted as well. Include these even though you are pursuing these as hobbies.
Knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or crisis management experience are good skills to highlight depending on the hiring organisation. Many organisations will appreciate having a trained CPR employee on board. It is important to create your template cover letter.
You can filter out which traits and experiences match those that the recruiter listed in the job profile at short notice.
Include as well attributes though not required but adds value to the role. If you are applying for a junior role such as a receptionist role at a hotel or a call centre agent, though it may not be a part of the required attributes of the role, a knowledge of a foreign language or diverse travel experiences may also be the advantage that separates you from another candidate.
Highlight these in your cover letter.
A cover letter contains no apologies
In creating your great cover letter it is vital not to apologise for skills that you may not have.
For example, if you are applying for a role as a marketing assistant and you have never worked in such a role do not start a paragraph by saying for example, although I have no practical marketing experience, I believe I can excel as in the role of marketing assistant.
This presents a negative picture from out the gate. A better approach even in an instance where you have no experience can read, I have worked at ABC call centre for three years where I have acquired organisational skills, communication skills and attention to details which are valuable assets for this role.
This shifts the focus from that fact that you lack the matching experience to the skills you have acquired to date which can help you succeed in the current role.
If you are searching for a job, there are other articles on this blog which you may find helpful. Feel free to click on any of the links below to explore:-
What are Good Job Benefits
7 Factors To Consider When Evaluating A Job Offer
How To Stay Positive During Job Search
How To Prepare For Job Search If You’re Relocating
How to Resign From Your Job
10 Top Personality Traits To Put On Your Resume
How To Write A Resume When You Have No Job Experience
How To Write A Resume
6 Groups Of Persons Who You Can Use As A Job Reference
How To Prepare For A Job Search
How To Prepare For A Job Fair
A well written professional cover letter is important to have in your career toolkit at all times. It is advisable to have one even though you are not job searching.
A well created cover letter should explain thoroughly why you should be considered as an ideal candidate for the role and what value you can add to the organisation.
If you found this article helpful, I will be grateful if you can share it and leave a comment. For access to our free resource library with career templates, guides and checklists, click HERE to fill in the form. Thank you in advance for your support as I grow this blog.