Cover Letter Tips

By spikeindustries

The dreaded Cover Letter. It is a necessary part of the “applying for jobs” process and it generally comes second fiddle to its sibling the Resume. Does that mean we should not put as much effort in when putting together a Cover Letter? Not at all. Do Hiring Manager’s even read the Cover Letter? Probably not. Of course, I can’t speak for everyone but what I can tell you from being on the receiving end of many job applications, is that so many people send outdated and generic Cover Letters. That being said, could you really blame us for not indulging in reading every word on the page?

The truth is, if you possess the criteria, skills, and experience that the job ad has asked for, this should show on your resume and you will most likely get shortlisted for the position. If there is a chance that your application is sitting in the “maybe” pile, and the Hiring Manager is unsure of your capabilities; then your Cover Letter could make all the difference.   

The main point you want to get across in your Cover Letter is what YOU can do for the potential employer, not what they can do for you. It is an opportunity to sell yourself and show them what you could bring to the table.

 

TOP THINGS TO AVOID

  • Using a generic cover letter for all the jobs you apply for.
  • Addressing it “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” – do your best to find the name of the Hiring Manager.
  • Replicating what is already stated in your resume.
  • Not sending the Cover Letter as an attachment when applying for jobs online (typing it in the space provided instead). The reason being, is that the person on the receiving end gets a notepad version of your cover letter which isn’t reader friendly.
  • Overusing the word “I” – Check your sentencing are not starting with I … every time. Remember as much as we would like to think it’s about ourselves, it’s about the company, and the value you can bring to them.
  • Adding in what your salary expectations are.

WHAT TO INCLUDE

  • Bullet Points. This breaks up the document and makes it easier to read.
  • Examples of how you could add value in the position and company.
  • Some light humour or letting your personality shine through.
  • Your creative flair. Keep the format simple when it comes to the Resume (for compatibility with Applicant Tracking Systems) but if you feel the need to get creative then the Cover Letter is where you can do this. Have a look on Canva for inspiration (it is free to sign up).
  • Your contact details including your LinkedIn URL.

 

Here is an example of a Cover Letter that you can use as a template:

 

Date

Hiring manager’s name

Their Position

Company

 

Dear Hiring Manager’s name,

 

You can start off with “I am writing to apply for the position of {insert role title}, which was advertised online at SEEK/Indeed/Company Careers page” or if you can name drop here or add a referral then that is always a preferred introduction to go with.

I have enclosed my resume to support my application and as you will see It shows that I would bring relevant skills and experience to the position, including:

Experience

  • My experience with X ….. Include anything relevant to the company & position you are applying for. Why is your experience valuable to them?

Skills

  • What skill do you have that are relevant and could assist to solve a problem they have?

Achievements

  • At X (insert company name) I have brought on X new clients / increased sales by X% by doing X / implemented X systems to increase efficiency in X. If given the opportunity I could ….. Explain what you can do for the company here.

Final opportunity to mention why you would like to work for the company/why you would be a good fit/ Mention any other points that your resume may have left off, for example, “I am currently based in Melbourne but will be relocating over to Perth on such and such date”.

I will contact you in the coming days to arrange a discussion, however; if you would like to get in touch with me prior to then please contact me on the above details. (Don’t forget to put your contact details in the top left corner!)

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Your name

 

 

Now that I have bombarded you with information, I’m going to tell you that at the end of the day, you really can’t get it too wrong as long as you tailor the Cover Letter to the position you are applying for. I would recommend getting someone to proofread it, then saving it as a PDF before attaching it to your online application.