Top tips to prepare your cover letter
Your cover letter gives you an opportunity to expand on things you were unable to in your CV. So we’ve listed top tips on how to make the most of writing your cover letter. We’ve also included an example which will help you get an idea of the layout and what should be included.
- Advert response or Speculative cover letter
The concept of an advert response and speculative cover letter is the same. When you write an advert response, you are applying for a role you have seen advertised. If you are writing a speculative cover letter, you are sending out your cover letter and cv to a company without seeing a vacancy advertised.In both cases, you need to demonstrate your skills and knowledge of the firm.
- Keep it short and sharp
Ensure you have researched the company and job role properly and that you are able to portray this knowledge in your cover letter. However, make sure your letter is concise and you’re not rambling on about why you should have the job. Your cover letter should be no more than one A4 side.
- Adjust your writing style
A good cover letter is written in a formal, professional style, but not too formal that it’s difficult to read. Make sure the letter fits the style of the organisation and job role you are applying to.
- First paragraph
Start your cover letter briefly explaining who you are, the role you are applying for, and where you found the job vacancy advertised. Don’t include too much information in the first paragraph as this information is detailed later on in your cover letter.
- Second paragraph
In this paragraph detail why you have an interest in the job role and any background knowledge which will support this.
- Third paragraph
This is where you explain what skills you have, the qualifications which specifically apply to the job role, and what you can offer to the employer. It is important you don’t repeat yourself from what you’ve written in your CV!
Conclude your cover letter thanking the employer for their time and mention that your CV and references are attached (if applicable).
- Proof read
Grammatical errors in a cover letter give off a bad first impression and can make the difference between you or another candidate being selected. It’s a very simple thing but will make a big difference!
- Save as PDF
Save your word document as a PDF file when you are all done and do not want to change anything anymore. This way you prevent messed up lay outs or other changes that are unintentional.