Writing a cover letter may seem like a little extra effort but it is well worth it, you see the goal is to present your case to your potential employer as to why you are a strong candidate for the position. Yes, it takes time but the benefits far outweigh the cons, I know of some recruiters who won’t even read you resume if you haven’t included a cover letter because in her words “If they are too lazy to complete a cover letter then I assume they will be lazy in the job as well” I mean, harsh, but maybe possibly true?
It just goes to show that taking the time to write a cover letter pretty much ensures that your resume will be read (whether it be by a machine or person) and it’s the perfect time to explain how your skills match the job description, with that being said it is also important that you get the information on the cover letter right. Your cover letter shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your resume, your resume should list your skills, but your cover letter should be an opportunity to high light how you have put those skills to use.
Here are my top tips to getting your cover letter right and ensuring you are steps ahead of the competition when a potential employer or recruiter reads your resume.
- Go through the job ad and underline the key words used by the employer, as long as you have the expertise try to use these words again in your cover letter.
- Tailor your cover letter to each job you are going for, include why you are a good match for the job role in just 3 to 4 paragraphs.
- Tailor the cover letter and if possible, personalise the letter to the relevant recruiter or manager. Include their name, title, company name and address in the left hand corner.
- Double and triple check the letter has the correct spelling, punctuation and the correct recruiter’s details for each job you are applying for. Use simple language and the same font as your resume, it is recommended your font is no larger than 11 points, so stick to that as a guide.
- Include your contact details on all of the pages so if your cover letter gets separated from your resume the employer can still find your contact details on each page, use the header to do this or under your signature at the end of the cover letter.
- The body is the important part of the cover letter, include a paragraph that includes why you are interested and qualified for the role, keep it short and to the point.
- As mentioned above keywords and words known as “buzz words” are a great way to get the attention of an employer or recruiter if they are just speed reading over all of the cover letters and if the online application is automated the tracking system will pick up these key words… Clever right?
- Sign off your cover letter with a signature at the bottom, it should read and looks something like this:
(Sign here in black or blue pen)
0415 000 000
Take a look at the Skills Road Resume Builder which will help you along the way to creating the perfect resume and cover letter.
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