So you’ve prepared a killer CV and are ready to put your cover letter together. But how can you stand out from the crowd, and snag your dream job?
Don’t let your dream company’s first impression of you be anything less than amazing. Here are six tips for writing the perfect cover letter.
1. Make it personal
If you can, always try to address your covering letters to a specific person, never to “Dear Sir/Madam” (unless you absolutely have no other choice). If you can’t find a name after doing a little digging online, call up the company’s HR department and ask. Putting in that extra bit of effort will set you apart from the hundreds of other applicants who couldn’t be bothered.
2. Flattery works wonders
Tell them why you like the company before you start talking about yourself – how impressed you are with their new initiative, or how you admire their ability to do whatever it is they do best. This gives the impression that you’re serious about working for them and that they’re your number one choice.
3. Use keywords
By echoing the keywords used in the job advert, you’ll be subconsciously showing your potential employer that you fit the bill. So if they want a “self-starter” or a “highly motivated” person, make sure to include those descriptions when talking up your qualifications and past experience.
It’s always better to take the time to tailor your letter to the specific company and position you’re applying for, especially if it’s a job you’re super keen on. Hiring managers can spot a generic template from a mile away, so impress them with your knowledge of the company and how you would fit their particular needs.
5. Be clear in your conclusion
Let them know exactly when and how you’re available to be reached, as well as a date you will follow up by if you still haven’t heard from them. Say that you look forward to hearing from them in the near future, or that you look forward to discussing your qualifications.
Sign off using “Yours sincerely” if you’ve addressed it to a specific person, or “Yours faithfully” if “Dear Sir/Madam” was used.
6. Last but not least…proofread!
Even the most well-written covering letter can be ruined by a few minor mistakes and hiring managers will use any excuse to narrow down the applicants. So make sure to check it multiple times, and have a parent or friend read it for you to triple check.