Have you ever sat down to write a cover letter for your job application and wondered where do you even start? If an application asks you for a cover letter, getting it right could be the difference between getting the job and not.
So how can you make sure your cover letter is on point? We’ve got some tips to help you stand out.
What is a cover letter?
If you apply for a job, chances are you might have been asked to include a cover letter with your resume. But what exactly is a cover letter?
Basically, it’s a one-page document where you get the opportunity to introduce yourself and talk about some of your key skills and strengths. The important thing about a cover letter is that it should be tailored to each individual job you apply for – not only do you talk about yourself, but also explain how your skills and strengths will be beneficial to the company and job.
Why should I write a cover letter?
Most of the time, you’ll be writing a cover letter because you’ve been asked to. If you don’t, your application will most likely go right to the bottom of the pile.
Your cover letter is there to help the employer get a brief snapshot of you and why you might be the perfect fit for the role. So if your cover letter is nothing exciting, chances are they won’t read through to the rest of your resume. Here are some tips to make sure your cover letter is number one.
Do your research
It can be tempting to write one generic cover letter and attach it to all of your job applications. But going the extra mile by addressing the letter to the right person and talking about the job role and what you think you can bring to it shows the employer you’ve done a bit of research and are invested in getting the job.
Highlight relevant experience
Your cover letter should be relatively short and snappy, so you don’t want to list every single work or life experience; try to stick to what you think is relevant to the role you’re applying for. Going for a job that requires a lot of typing? Maybe you have some relevant office work experience you can mention.
Showcase your skills
Employers don’t just want to know what you’ve done – they want to know what you learned from it as well. Even if you’ve never had any work experience in the field you’re applying for, chances are you’ve still developed some relevant skills through other activities. These can be through sport, volunteering, school projects, or more.
Focus on the positives
If you don’t have much work experience, it can be easy to get bogged down into thinking that there’s nothing for you to offer. But that doesn’t meant you aren’t the right person for the job. Make sure you don’t go on and on about how limited your experience is, and instead highlight the skills and experiences you do have.
Edit, edit, edit
Because a cover letter is a first impression, you want it to be a really good one. And this means you should go through what you’ve written and triple-check everything; spelling, grammar, tone. That extra attention to detail can really make you stand out.
Now that you’ve nailed the cover letter, it’s time to start on the rest of your resume. If you’re feeling a bit lost, you can check out our blog on how to write a resume, or even give our super simple resume builder a try.