A lot of advice is written about perfecting your CV – even by us. But there are fewer tips out there on how to write a great cover letter.
Writing your Cover Letter
The below tips will help you write a cover letter that will really shine.
Keep it brief
A cover letter should never be longer than one page of A4. If you can cut it down to about two-thirds of A4, then even better.
You should also break it up into short paragraphs, to make it easier for the employer to read. A solid block of copy is off-putting to a reader.
Where possible, find out the name of the hiring manager and address the letter directly to them. That little bit of extra research shows dedication and can really pay off.
Tailor it to the job
At the very least, you should make sure that your cover letter has been updated to include the correct company and job title (you’d be amazed how many people forget this!).
Ideally, though, the cover letter is the place to tell the employer exactly how good a fit you are for the job. You should briefly run through the experience and personal qualities you have that make you perfect for the role, with reference to the key required skills in the job description.
If you’re applying to an investment bank, or a similarly corporate organisation, then you probably want to keep your cover letter quite formal.
However, if you’re applying for a creative job then the cover letter might be a good chance to show off the design or copywriting skills you have. Just remember to also include the important information about yourself so it’s not a case of style over substance.
Appeal to the heart
We’re not talking about breaking out the sob stories here. The CV gives the facts, so let the cover letter showcase your personal drives a bit more, and tell the employer why you were drawn to this particular job, and why you will be passionate about it. It’s also a chance to prove that you’re a good cultural fit for the company.
Do your research
If you can drop in a reference to something the company is currently doing, then the hiring manager will be able to see that you’ve put time and effort into your application, and that you take the role seriously.
After writing the cover letter, thoroughly proof it to correct spelling and formatting errors.