Why do we write a covering letter?

A covering letter is there to catch the hiring managers eye and make you stand out from the crowd. But how do you make yours stand out from the crowd and get you noticed? We have put together a few tips on writing the best covering letter which makes you stand out and gets you the interviews you want.

TIP 1: ALWAYS SEND A COVERING LETTER

Taking the time to put together a personalised letter for each job you are applying for. This letter will show the employer that you are interested and have taken the time to consider what skills you could bring to the organisation.

Sending an email saying “Please find attached my CV for position of….” With a CV attached gives the impression you are not really interested in the job and you are going for quantity and not quality when applying for a position. Find a job you love and not a job you hate.

TIP 2: BACK TO BASICS

Whether you are applying by email, by post or handing it in in person it is important to make it look like a letter. Start by putting your name and address on the top right followed by the employers name and address below it on the left-hand side. Follow this with the date and address it to the person with whom you are applying too. You may want to put a small header after the date with a job title and reference number to the job you are applying too.

Finish the letter with the appropriate salutation – Sincerely, Regards, Yours truly, and Yours sincerely are the most common ones used for formal business addresses.

TIP 3: SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY 

Where possible always let your personality shine through whilst drawing attention to your interest in the organisation you are applying to. This will immediately make you stand out as the letter will be personal to you and not one you have copy and pasted from the internet.

“This all sounds great but how do I do that?”

One idea is to include facts about the organisation and how their sector might be changing, use this to lead into where you see yourself in 10 years time (CPO or CEO) and what inspires you to do what you are doing.

It is important to remember that a covering letter is not a summary of your CV. The hiring manager can read your CV they are looking to find out about you and why they should offer you an interview. It is your chance to make your mark, be conversational and humorous where appropriate.

TIP 4: BE THE EMPLOYER

For one job application, a hiring manager can receive 100’s if not 1000’s of CV’s and covering letters. Put yourself in their shoes what would be the deciding factor? They are looking for something that might catch their eye or be different from a standard cut and paste job. Try taking the opportunity to tell a story that you cannot see from your CV or show your passion for the company make it relevant and stand out from the crowd.

TIP 5: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

We now live in the digital age. Why not think outside the box – a chance to throw the formality of a traditional cover letter out the window. There’s no better time to take a risk, be creative and get noticed. For instance, your cover letter could be a YouTube video or design your own system or process which is unique in your sector. Try sending your CV and covering letter inside a box of cupcakes. Ultimately, you want to make a lasting impression to get you that all important interview.

Finally, and probably the most important bit ALWAYS check it for spelling and grammar mistakes. That doesn’t mean use spell check, ask someone to read it or get a dictionary out.

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