A cover letter can make a big difference to the success of your application. Your letter is a great opportunity to write about skills and experiences you’ve missed in your CV without exceeding the word count. A persuasive cover letter can make a big difference to your application. Here are 10 dos and don’ts to help you write an effective cover letter!
Make sure to carry out some research on the company before you write your cover letter. Research will help you to determine a business’s values and culture and will help you to write a more effective cover letter.
It’s important that you don’t use a generic cover letter. Personalise your letter to the business and the role you’re applying for. A personalised letter will help a hiring manager picture you in the role and will also demonstrate that you’ve put effort into your application!
Do use a job description as a guide
Use the job description as a guide when writing your cover letter. Typically, a job description will describe the skills and experiences they require from a candidate. Make sure that you only write about relevant skills and experiences, if it’s not mentioned in the job description then you’re wasting your word count.
Do use a simple format
Although colourful complex layouts can help your letter stand out, it will be a wasted effort if the employer can’t read it. Make sure you use a simple layout to ensure your letter looks professional and that a hiring manger reads everything you have to say.
Do proof read
It’s essential that you proof read your cover letter before you send it. Silly spelling and grammatical errors can harm your application. Try getting a friend of family member to read over it, they may be able to pick up on mistakes you’ve missed!
Don’t be unprofessional
A cover letter should always be professional. Make sure you use formal wording rather than text speak to make it easier to read and show a hiring manger you’re taking your application seriously.
Don’t just talk about yourself
Although a cover letter’s aim is to persuade an employer that you’re suitable for a role, it’s important not to just focus on yourself. Don’t just write about your career goals and ambitions, talk about what you can bring to their company and how your skills and experiences can help them, this will be far more persuasive.
Don’t repeat your CV
A cover letter should never just be a reworded version of your CV. A hiring manager will be reading your CV anyway; if your cover letter is basically the same thing then you’re wasting your time. Try and highlight skills and experiences that you’ve not included in your CV. It’s a great way to cut the word count down in your CV without having to remove it from your application!
Don’t write more than a page
A hiring manager will spend around one minute reading an application so it’s important that your cover letter is to the point. Stick to what is relevant and don’t repeat yourself!
Don’t use examples without evidence
If you’re going to refer to particular skills make sure to back them up with experiences that have help you to develop the skill. Listing all your skills without demonstrating how you’ve developed them will make your letter appear generic and it’ll be far less persuasive.
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