You’ve found your dream job! That’s great news, but how do you lock it down?
Therefore, having the perfect cover letter is important to master, there will be many other candidates in the line up for role you are eyeing up, so how do you make sure yours stands out from the rest. But don’t lose faith, it can be daunting to quickly summarise why YOU stand out from other candidates, so for those staring at their screen with a blank word document frantically thinking on what to write, we got you covered.
Here our key takeaways from what you need to include to help you smash that interview and separate you from the rest.
Two things to remember first,
- Why are YOU the right candidate for the role?
- How will YOU add value to the business?
Who are you addressing the letter to?
First and foremost, who are is the specific person you are writing to?
If you don’t want your cover letter thrown away avoid terms such as “To whom is may concern”
You should find out who you are trying to get the attention of, is it the hiring manager? Or head of department? Once you have found out the correct person you are writing to include their name, title, company name, address at the top of the letter below the date.
If you are struggling to find out who you are writing to, the best way to find this out is either the company website or LinkedIn, both provide great insight to who works for the company and who management are.
Reason for your cover letter
Now you have figured out who the correct person to address is, now you need to draft up the purpose of your cover letter, the rule is to keep it simple and to the point, state why you are applying for the role and why you would be a strong candidate, you could also mention how you came to find out about the role.
It’s easily done but try to make your letter less than one page long, anything longer than a page will potentially ruin your opportunity of the hiring individual to actually read it, as stated before, simple and to the point, so ideally try keep it to two paragraphs and nothing more.
Rinse but don’t repeat
Bear in mind, even though you are writing about why you would be a strong contender for the role, this doesn’t mean that this is the time to recite your entire CV, this is your time to make a statement on why you are fit for the role, they will have your CV so you don’t need to rehash this.
You also don’t have to make your statement a formal one, adding your own personality will shine through rather than conventional jargon, being you will help you stand out more.
Even though we stress not to repeat what your CV says about you, your passions and experience, its good to highlight relevant key skills to remind the hiring manager or head of department that whilst you are expressing your reasons for being the right candidate, here are skills to why this could positively benefit the business and the role.
Me, myself, and I
Everyone is a victim of starting a sentence with I, its how we start a sentence in relevance for our self right?
Yes that is true, but the overuse of the word I can get stale and come across as that you’re more desired in what you can get from the company, whilst actually you want to promote what the company can gain from you.
Remember, this isn’t your latest autobiography, your main focus should be on how you meet the employers’ expectations not yours, so try limit the word I as the start of every sentence when describing yourself.
Consistency is key
Consistency is important when structuring your cover letter, have a look at your CV, what is the font? How big is the font?
How your CV was originally formatted should mirror the same when writing your cover letter.
So, if you used size 12 font and used Arial font, then your cover letter should also have the same formatting and typeface.
Now that your formatting is the same, if you want to export to a PDF then make sure that this translates when you export your text.
Now for the finale
You have now written your cover letter, but now you are left with how to finish writing the perfect end statement.
When you are the closing paragraph of your cover letter, you don’t want to appear overconfident however you do want to shine out from the rest. If you finish your cover letter with “I look forward to hearing from you,” that’s not a deal breaker but that statement alone doesn’t seal the deal.
The closing paragraph of your cover letter must be one of the strongest statements because it is the last impression you leave in the hiring manager’s mind.
Here are some examples on how you can really make your cover letter leave a lasting impression.
“I am exceedingly excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for INSERT COMPANY NAME.”
“If I am offered the position of NAME OF ROLE, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help COMPANY NAME exceed its own expectations for success.”
“I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with and to discuss how my qualifications and skills will be beneficial to your organisation’s success.”