If you’re uncertain about where to start with your cover letter, follow our quick tips to ensure yours is a success.
Your cover letter is your chance to market yourself to your potential employer, which is why it’s vitally important that you put out nothing less than a perfect cover letter.
When writing your first cover letter, keep the following in mind:
1. Keep it short and easy to read
The interviewer must want to read your cover letter so make sure it doesn’t appear too long; break up your text into an intro, a body and a conclusion, and try to keep it short 4 or 5 bite-sized paragraphs will do. Be sure to list details such as your tertiary institution, outstanding achievements or awards.
2. Never send the same cover letter
Never recycle cover letters – the interviewer will know and your application won’t get further than the reject pile. For each new application, write a new cover letter tailored to the company and position you are applying to. Include your skills on every cover letter, but ensure that it is relevant to what is required and asked for in the job spec. It might take a bit longer, but it’ll be well worth it in the end.
3. Never underestimate the power of a well-written letter
Spelling and grammar is just as important as the content of your cover letter. Slang, abbreviated terms, misspelt words and incorrect usage of punctuation is a red flag for companies. Read your cover letter with a fine tooth comb and then ask someone else to give it a read too – as second pair of eyes might be the difference between getting an interview and landing up in the reject pile.
4. Your cover letter must sell your CV
The interviewer will look at your cover letter before wanting to look at your CV. The aim of your cover letter is therefore to sell your CV and make the interview curious to see what your CV contains. Use your cover letter to highlight to the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the job.