What is the point in a Cover Letter?
As a recruiter a Cover Letter can give an insight into a candidate’s personality and level of interest in a position.
A CV, if done correctly will show facts, figures, key successes, responsibilities and be short, punchy and succinct, however a Cover Letter puts a much more personal spin on an application and addresses the Hiring Manager / Recruiter directly, telling them why they are applying and how they would be a transferable asset.
This especially works well if you are changing your career path. Whether that be industry or responsibility wise – it shows you have thought about this logically and you are not saturating every vacancy possible with your CV. You are serious about this role and you have taken the time out to show us this.
How to write a Cover Letter
One should format it as if it were a business letter – here is a generic template, showing what should be covered:
Dear Sir / Madam,
Confirm your name and your present occupation as well as why you are looking to change careers.
What about this company and vacancy caught your eye, why you want to apply and what you can bring to the role.
You may want to include short anecdotes about memorable moments within your career, key wins, particularly figures where you are exceeding targets/expectations.
NOT NECESSARY but it can be helpful at this point to include salary expectations and availability (notice period and interview slots) as if there is a closing date or if the salary would not meet your necessary bracket we can rule this out immediately and not waste your time.
Sign off professionally along with your contact details.
Do not convolute your rationale and do not make this letter too long – keep it succinct and to the point to hold the recipient’s interest and gain momentum so they are partly sold on you before even looking at your CV.
You should be writing a separate cover letter for each vacancy you apply for so you can tailor this to the position in question and the expectations of the role and why you would be a great match.
Copying and pasting the same cover letter may have a detrimental effect as you may forget to change certain details which on certain vacancies may be completely irrelevant. Along with this it would not be specifically aligned to the vacancy and therefore miss the point of a Cover Letter entirely.
Although it is not necessary to create a Cover Sheet it shows a well prepared prospective candidate who holds genuine interest in the vacancy and business and if there are a plethora of qualified candidates applying, this might just sit you above the rest!
Author: Dayna Ferguson