A one size fits all approach to your cover letter certainly doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to making a substantial impression on potential employers. Although tailoring your letter to the industry and position takes time, doing so can improve your chances of receiving an interview significantly. By using the tips below you can ensure your cover letter highlights why you’re perfect for the role to the potential employer, encouraging them to invite you to the next stage.
Address it Appropriately
It goes without saying that if the job advert notifies you of who will be receiving the applications for a vacancy then you should address your cover letter to this person. However, this is not always stated but this does not mean you should use ‘To whom it may concern’. An improvement would be using the job title of the person who is likely to receive it, such as the HR manager or recruiter. Better still however would be to ring the company and simply ask who you should address your cover letter to. This shows initiative and determination as you’ve gone the extra mile to make sure your application is personal and correctly addressed.
If you have ever worked for the company in some way (work experience, etc.) or you know someone who works at the company then the first sentence of your letter is the perfect place to mention this. If you’ve been referred to the vacancy by an employee then this will help you to make a connection with the potential employer and this referral could encourage them to consider you for the next stage.
Every industry and job role has a number of keywords associated with it and being aware of what these are can help improve your cover letter significantly. If you’re unsure which to use, read through the job advert and make a note of any repeated phrases/words. You can also look through the company’s website to discover the terminology they frequently use and what they value. Once you have a list of the keywords associated with the position, be sure to include them throughout your cover letter in order to prove you have the fundamental knowledge required to succeed in the role. Many employers now adopt a software which identifies keywords within applications to help them screen their candidates, therefore making sure you include them could help you pass the first stage.
Include Relevant Skills
Your CV should have focused on presenting the skills and experiences that were emphasised by the employer in their job advert. Now your cover letter must back this up by emphasising your relevant strengths and talents. Take another look at the job description and make sure you have addressed all of the essential skills/qualities in your letter. This will help satisfy the potential employer that the skills you possess meet their requirements, therefore they’re likely to invite you for an interview to find out more.
As long as you ensure that everything you write serves the purpose of explaining why you in particular are suitable for the role, your cover letter will be a winning success.