Time for a job change? Why adding sparkle to your cover letter can make or break your job search
According to recruitment site Monster.com, the most popular months for recruitment at January, February, September and October. That’s great – but what do you do when you need to look for a job during the rest of the year?
The quick answer to that is to make sure your CV and cover letter stand out amongst the crowd. Many people focus so much on their CV that they sideline their covering letter. However, before your CV even gets a look in, the first impression comes from the covering letter. Think of it as the speed dating of the recruitment process. Make a good impression and you go to the next level. Get it wrong and you’re out of the game!
Here are some tips to make your covering letter sparkle:
1. The primary purpose of a covering letter is to get your CV read and furthermore get you a meeting. You need to picture your letter, like the first page of your CV, as a one page promotion for yourself. Make your letter short, intriguing and dynamic.
2. Make sure that every detail relating to the reader’s name, work title and address is accurate.
3. Try as much as you can not to begin each sentence or section with ‘I’.
4. Do your research – allude to the opportunities, challenges, conditions, threats and headaches that your target organisation is facing.
5. Show in short sections precisely what you are applying for, what you will bring to the table, who you are, and the reason why you are interested in the job. Try not to oversell. State quickly why you are a superb fit for the occupation.
6. Allude the reader to your encased CV. You have to pick three or four of your top achievements and rehash them in the letter, making use of distinctive terms to the way they have already been conveyed in the CV. Choose accomplishments pertinent to the work.
7. Do not place anything in your covering letter that offers the reader motivation to set the letter aside, e.g. apologising for your insufficiency of a specific requirement, or specifying your age, or referring to negative viewpoints, for example, why you left your last occupation.
8. In the event that your letter turns out to be is a speculative approach (i.e. one sent to a company that isn’t at present publicising a job opportunity), strive to ensure that your covering letter is read by a decision making head.
9. You need to be clear and precise about exactly what action you are requesting. In the event that you are looking for a meeting, request for one.
10. Make phone calls, as a way of tracking your letter, to ensure that your letter has been received by the intended recipient. Inquire one relevant question, or state one reason why you might be of great assistance to the organisation and propose a meeting.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.