Many companies ask you to write a cover letter to accompany your CV when completing the initial stage of the recruitment process. A cover letter demonstrates your writing ability along with providing the recruiter or hiring manager the chance to find out a little more about you.
Morson has put together 5 top tips to consider when writing your cover letter:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Similarly to when you’re researching the company for the interview stage, you need to do some research to be able to write your cover letter too.
Take some time to look into the company values and how they work, but also re-read the job description and person specification to help you understand exactly what kind of person they are looking for.
In theory, your cover letter should be formatted like a formal business letter. You should use easy to read fonts such as Ariel, Calibri or Verdana and keep the font size between 10 and 12. Ensure you use sufficient paragraphs to make it easy to read but be sure to keep it to one page or less.
In terms of structure, this is totally up to you. However, a good place to start would be:
- An introduction – a clear statement of who you are and the role you are applying for.
- Your current situation – a brief description of what you are doing now and any skills that match the role you are applying for.
- Why you want the job and why you should be hired – here you should sell yourself in the best way you can. Include your skills, qualities and anything else you think the hiring manager would be interested to hear.
- Conclusion – to sign off your cover letter you should include a section that states information on how to reach you and when you’re available for an interview. Be sure to thank the recruiter or employer for their time and consideration at this stage.
Check for spelling and grammatical errors in your cover letter before you send it off. A misspelt word could seriously diminish your chances of you securing the role that you are applying for. It’s always a good idea to get someone else to give it a once-over before you send it off to the recruiter or manager.
4. WHAT TO LEAVE OFF YOUR COVER LETTER
A cover letter must never be a summary of your CV, it should highlight the most relevant aspects of your CV and complement it. Make sure you keep it concise and focused.
5. SIGN IT OFF
It’s up to you whether you decide to follow your cover letter up with a phone call or email. If you are, it’s always a good idea to state your intentions in the letter.
In terms of sending your cover letter, if you are printing it out and posting it/handing it in, signing it by hand is always a nice touch.