- The Covering Email or Letter
- How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job: Things to Include
- Cover Letter Template
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The Covering Email or Letter
Some employers still specifically ask for a cover letter when sending your CV. Even if they do not ask, it is part of your sale, and it is a relatively simple task to achieve. Cover letters should be completely tailored to the role. The following will provide you with the right method for how to write a cover letter for a job. This provides a cover letter template which is transferable to most vacancy roles.
The same rules apply here to both the covering letter and a covering e-mail message. Both serve a number of purposes. First, they identify who you are and what you want. Second, they set the tone for the CV. Finally, they are part of the sale in their own right.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job: Things to Include
The following sections are things you should think about for how to write a cover letter for a job.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job: Understand the Company with the Vacancy
Would you want to interview someone that could not even be bothered to research your company? Get to understand their market, their products/services, competitive position, and their latest news. If you can mention any of these naturally within your cover letter, it shows that you have a firm interest in the role. This is an essential activity for how to write a cover letter for a job.
This download provides you with some of the primary areas to understand in order to show your interest and enthusiasm. This business knowledge proforma provides the areas which you should understand fo interview about the company with the vacancy. For the purpose of the cover letter, you will not need to know all of these areas, but a sprinkling will help. Complete the form below for the download. This will also register you with Candidate Tips, and we will send you occasional new articles and tips for getting the right job.
Please provide your name and email address for your free download.
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job: Matching Yourself to the Vacancy
You will find more information on this area in how to tailor your CV in ten minutes. However, in brief, provide three bullets where you match yourself to the role. You can start the paragraph with something like, “As you will find in the attached curricula vitae, I have”, and then bullet their top three requirements and provide an achievement for each.
Cover Letter Template
We can stick to a fairly standard cover letter format. Please remember to do what they have asked for. There are generally three possibilities for how to write a cover letter for a job:
- Hand written cover letter. This may seem strange these days, but some employers do want to test this for certain roles where hand-writing is required. On occasion, though there is no validity in it, some organisations (mostly French) still assess handwriting for personality traits. Just make sure it is your best hand-writing.
- “Together with a cover letter”. This is specifically specified, and can occur frequently. This means a separate document from your CV. In these cases, it will need to be an attachment to your email rather than as part of the email text.
- No cover letter specified. Include one anyway, and this can be as part of the email sent with your CV.
But what happens if the application is through a job board and you can only load a CV or resume? In these cases, just make it part of the CV as the opening page. Start your CV on page two.
Cover Letter Contact Details
It is just good practice and there are some sticklers out there looking at your CV. So take it to the highest common denominator. That means, include:
- Your name and address (not needed on a e-mail)
- Their contact address (not needed if e-mail)
- Dear…. Use their name wherever possible to personalise the cover letter. Again, play to the highest common denominator by use of Mr or Ms before their surname.
Cover Letter First Paragraph
”I would like to apply/be considered for the role of [job role] as advertised in [name of publication or job board] on [date published].
Cover Letter Second Paragraph
“As you will find from my attached curricula vitae, I have.” Now use bullets taking the most important requirements from their advert, person specification or job description, and match you experiences and achievements to their needs. For example, to make it easy you can start each bullet with one of their needs and follow it up with an achievement. For example, if it was for a multi-site Operations Manager role, and they have specified (using their words) commercial targets and driving performance as two of the primary matching criteria, it might look something like this:
- Commercial Targets – Increased total revenue across 10 operating unit against target by over 15% in two consecutive years with a total increased profit of £562,000.
- Driving Performance – Turn-around the bottom 3 performing outlets in the group and enhanced profitability by an average of £275,000. All 3 are now in the top half of the league tables against 5 of the 6 main KPI’s.
Continue this for up to their top six needs.
Cover Letter Third Paragraph
Show that you have researched their organisation and/or the job role. Then show what you can do for the business. Use their language as you want them to feel that you would match their culture as well as the skills required for the role. You might want to start the paragraph with, for example:
- “I noticed that you have [taken from their news section].”
- “I was particularly interested in to see that you provide [taken from their products or services].
- “I can see by your market position that competition [taken from their market position/competitive position].
The above is intended to show your interest and your understanding of the business. You have gone further than most candidates would be expected to at this stage of the recruitment and selection process. That’s a great start.
Now extend it. For each point you make, show how you can help with this. For example:
“I noticed from your website that you have recently adopted a new scheduling system. In my past two roles we have successfully implemented similar systems, and I have had a central role in ensuring these implementations by ensuring early adoption, training individuals in their use, and changing existing processes where required to work in harmony with them. This has led to significant cost savings, and enhancement for customer satisfaction.”
Cover Letter Final Paragraph
Let them know that you are interested in the role, and provide an indication that you are available for interview. For example:
“I am very interested in this role and feel that I would add significant value to the organisation, and am available for interview at your request.”
Now finish with “your Sincerely” followed by your name.
This guide on how to write a cover letter for a job provides you with a great format that enhances your sale, provides them with further information, and takes out any subjectivity which might prejudice your application.
If you are following this pathway, move on to CV templates.
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