Drafting your cover letter may seem like an easy feat, but many people struggle with this task. It’s about finding a balance in the structure, formatting and clarity of your words. It should sell the writer, grab the attention of the reader and make it easy for the reader to see how you are the solution to their needs.
With formatting, a common mistake I see is the length. If your letter is more than one page with big wordy paragraphs and a small font, then it’s unlikely to get read. I know you want to fit in all the details about what you do, but the recruiter usually doesn’t have that much time!
The structure of the cover letter can be broken into four parts:
Introduction – This is where you outline the purpose of your letter, where you saw the job ad and that you are attaching your resume.
Middle – This is where you highlight the aspects of your background that will be most relevant to the position. You are answering the question “Can you do this job?”. Set this out with bullet points that show how your strengths match in with the criteria set out in the job ad.
Third paragraph – Show that you’ve done some research on the company and explain why you’d like to work for them. For instance, linking your values to the organisation’s values and vision, or the business may be experiencing growth and you would like to be a part of this exciting time. It’s good to include some softer skills as well that reveal your personality.
The final paragraph of your cover letter is not only a ‘thank you’ for considering your application, it can also be a request for further action. Saying that you will call or email the reader to follow up and see if a meeting can be arranged, is a way of showing initiative.
Finishing with Yours sincerely is my choice for closing off, but you may prefer Yours faithfully, Best regards or Sincerely. Remember to proof read for correct spelling and grammar and you’ll be on your way.
How will you make your cover letter stand out from the rest?
Contact me here to enquire about how I can help you draft a professional cover letter that is well written and tailored to your dream job.