Four tips on writing a cover letter in order to land your next job!
Are you looking for work or thinking about a step up from your current job into something that pays better? If so, a cover letter is one of the first things you’re going to want to learn how to write!
But first, let’s briefly explore what a cover letter is. A cover letter is generally included with your CV or resume when you’re applying for a job. This piece of paper (or email attachment) is usually the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers look at. To break it down, a cover letter typically includes:
- A brief introduction about yourself (professionally)
- The job or position that you’re applying for
- Skills and experience (a summary - not as detailed as the resume or CV)
- What makes you a good fit or match for the job you’re applying for
- Information that makes the reader want to read your CV or resume
- A call to action (such as setting up an interview)
Now that you know what a cover letter is, here are 4 tips on writing one that may help you land your next job!
- Mention the job you’re applying for and any job reference (if applicable). Many employers (especially larger ones) have multiple job openings they are taking applications for. If you don’t mention the job you’re applying for, the hiring manager or recruiter won’t know, and therefore might not give your cover letter or CV the time of day.
- Use keywords in your cover letter! For example, if you’re applying for a job to be an accountant, make sure that word is used in both your cover letter and resume. Also use other words that go along with the job you’re applying for. Many companies use computer software to review cover letters and CVs. If the keywords are not in your documents, a person may never get the chance to review them.
- Make a few points about why you’re well suited for the job. Remember, you will go into more details on your CV or resume, but you want to immediately catch the attention of the person reading your cover letter. By listing a few qualifications or skills that you have that match the job opening, you will keep the reader interested enough to move on to read your CV or resume.
- As mentioned earlier, you want to use a call to action at the end of your resume. A call to action means you are prompting the reader to do something (read your CV/resume, call you for an interview, etc.) For example, you could write “I thank you in advance for reviewing my CV and I look forward to hearing from you to set up an interview to discuss the position further.”
Bonus tip! If at all possible, when you’re addressing your cover letter, try and find out who will be reading it and address it directly to that person. You can search online, or even call the company and ask who the hiring manager is for the position. It’s much more professional to formally address the person than to use “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”, or “To Whom it May Concern”.
Plus, if you thinking about your next career move, check out these job application strategies as well as our tips on how to dress for success in readiness for your next job interview!