A covering letter to accompany your CV can make or break your chances of getting a recruiter’s attention. They reveal a lot about you as a candidate and are a useful tool for hiring managers, so we’re seeing them more and more and some companies are making them compulsory with applications.
If you’re not sure whether your cover letter is helping you shine as a candidate, read on for our handy tips on how to achieve this.
A generic cover letter that you send to every job you apply for isn’t going to make the impact you need to get noticed. Instead of just saying you want to work for ‘an agency’ tell the recruiter why you want to work for their agency. Flatter them. What have you read in the press? Why are they fantastic? And just how are you going to fit into the team there and bring a unique skill set to make the company even more fabulous?
Showcase your skills
Think of this as a bonus opportunity to show off what you can do – great communication skills? Attention to detail? Polite and professional? Make sure you demonstrate that in your letter.
Remember not to repeat your CV
Your cover letter shouldn’t just repeat your roles, titles and key responsibilities. A good way to think of it is that your CV is the Who, Where and What. Your covering letter is the Why and the How. Why do you want to work for the company? Why are you the best person for the role? How does your work history support this?
Show what you know
An applicant who has clearly made the effort to independently research the company and enhance their application by writing a cover letter is always going to stand out from the crowd. If you’ve taken the time to write one, the recruiter will be more likely to take the time to read through it, and your CV, in more detail.
Include the basics
If you can find the name of the person you need to speak to include this, put your contact details at the top of the page and at the end you can mention your availability to start a new role and attend interviews. Do also remember to thank the reader for their time and consideration.
Keep it relevant
Space on a covering letter is valuable; you want to make sure every word counts and it should never be longer than one page. You might have a great example of a project you successfully completed, but is it relevant to what this target company does? Will this be part of your job description?
Make the recruiter’s job easier
The person reading your cover letter will probably have read through dozens of applications that day. They’ve got specific criteria they’re looking for and they want to be able to find that information as quickly as possible. Therefore, instead of leaving it to them to read between the lines, it’s a very good idea to read the job description closely and make sure you’ve included each of their ‘essential’ person requirements in your letter and examples – connect the dots for them.
We hope this helps you nail your cover letter. If you’re looking for a job in the marketing, creative or events industry, please don’t hesitate to give one of our recruitment experts a call on 0845 548 8000 or drop your CV onto our ‘registration’ page so we always have you on our books and can let you know when your perfect job comes up.
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