FAQ: How Do I Write A Stand-Out Cover Letter?

In last week’s blog, we focussed on putting together a great CV. Whilst this is really important when applying for a job, a cover letter can be the mechanism to help you stand out. Follow our tips for putting together a cover letter that will help get you an interview.Q: What Is A Cover Letter?A: A cover letter can be viewed as an extension of your CV. It gives the recruiter more detail about you and why you would be ideal for the role you are applying for. A cover letter should not be standard but tailored to each job you apply for, providing specific information about why you are interested in the role and the organisation you are applying to.Q: How Should I Plan My Letter?A: ·      Do your research on the organisation and the job.·      What qualities is the employer looking for in the job description? Make sure you discuss how you can demonstrate these qualities in your letter.·      Try to get a contact name and title and apply these to the letter as appropriate. This will appreciated far more than ‘To whom it may concern’!Q: What Should I Write In My Letter?A: ·      State what you want right at the beginning of your letter. If you are applying for a specific vacancy, say where you saw it advertised and quote any reference given. If you are writing to ask for work, tell the employer what type of work you’re seeking and when you would be available to start.·      Provide evidence of your suitability but do not simply repeat what is on the CV, and do not introduce completely new information. Match your key experiences to the job.·      Show that you are genuinely interested in the particular job and organisation. Q: How Should I Present A Cover Letter?A: ·      One side of A4 only.·      Use the same paper for the letter as your CV.·      Choose a business sized envelope in a matching colour.·      Bullet points can help to emphasise key points if necessary.·      Give some thought to your paragraphs and spacing. TemplateYour AddressYour AreaYour CityYour PostcodeToday’s DateEmployer Contact NameEmployer NameEmployer AddressRE: Job Title You Are Applying For and Vacancy Reference Number (if applicable)Dear (Employer Name)Introduction Paragraph- TOP TIP – Make sure you don’t use sub-headings for each paragraph in your cover letter!Briefly introduce yourself and state why you are writing. Sell Yourself Paragraph(s)State why you are applying for the job and why this type of work appeals to you. Add details of what you can offer and outline the skills you have that match their requirements. Keep it concise and provide positive descriptions of relevant experience with skills gained and achievements. Try to focus on 2-3 key skills required by the employer.Add why you would like to work for this particular organisation.Closing ParagraphThank the reader for their time in considering your application. You may also want to indicate your availability for interview and that you look forward to hearing from the company.Your Sincerely/FaithfullyREMEMBER: If you have greeted the employer by name then use Yours Sincerely, but if you have used Sir/Madam then close with yours Faithfully.Your NameEnc. (if you have enclosed your CV or any supporting documents then list them here.)Extra Tip: Emailing A Cover LetterDon’t simply put ‘please see attached’ in the body of an email. Remain as professional in tone as you would if sending the letter through the post.We are always happy to help and advise. If you would like to ask us any questions, message us on facebook.

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