The perfect covering letter
How to make yourself stand out – with the perfect covering letter
It’s not all about the CV – you mustn’t forget the importance of a covering letter.
The average job advertised online receives 250 applications! This is just one of the scary statistics compiled by company BeHiring .
You should look at the covering letter as the very first hurdle to getting that interview. It’s like the ‘gatekeeper’ before you get to the decision maker! A good letter means you’ll proceed to the next level and your CV will actually get read! Albeit for only 4-6 seconds, according to research from the Cambridge network!
So, here are our top tips on writing the perfect covering letter.
- Don’t state the obvious – e.g. name of job, where it was advertised. They know what the job is and where it’s been advertised.
- Don’t waffle – keep it succinct and don’t waste their time. Think about how many CVs they’ve got to go through.
- Basics – Get them right, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that – spelling, grammar, punctuation etc.
- What can you bring to the job – that others can’t?
- What’s missing? – it’s an opportunity to tell your potential employer information that is not on your CV – or not instantly obvious. You have to bring your skills and experience to life – beyond a factual CV.
- Condense – summarise your best achievements that are relevant to this role. Think of it as a concentrated shot of CV.
- Tailor, Tailor, Tailor – keep it relevant to this job only – sell your key skill set and experience that is most relevant to the job.
- Formatting – Save and send as a PDF file – I’d do this for both letter and CV. This guarantees how your letter and CV will appear to the recruiter. Don’t let the wrong software mess up your hard work!