So you’ve finished drafting your CV (read our Do’s and Dont’s) and decided it is enough. Actually, not just yet. You still need to prepare your cover letter. Why so?
1) It showcases your personality. You add a personal touch with the tone used in the letter. This will leave cues about your traits which are important to fit the company culture.
2) It gives you an opportunity to say more. Now is your chance to add examples of how you have used your skills to further your previous companies’ interests.
3) It compels the recruiter to act. Write as if you are speaking directly to the recruiter. Your words should be compelling enough to merit a call for an interview.
To have a perfectly written cover letter, this must be:
1) Personalized. A cover letter beginning with ‘To whom it may concern’ is sure to be discarded. Make sure you research the name of the hiring manager.
2) Institution/industry appropriate. The tone and terminologies should be suitable to the industry you are targeting.
3) Telling a relevant part of your story. You may have a lot of skills and experiences, but you need to highlight the ones that match your potential employers’ requirements.
Things to avoid when writing your cover letter:
1) Saying too much. Having run on sentences (longer than 2 lines) is a no-no. Also, do not go beyond 4 paragraphs. And unless specified, make sure you put a cap at 400 words.
2) Ranting. Your cover letter is not the right avenue for airing negative sentiments about your previous employers or the world’s economy.
3) Sounding desperate. Yes, you need a job but you need not beg. Instead, you can use the power of persuasion to move the recruitment specialist to contact you.
Follow our tips to make sure your cover letter is attention-grabbing in the right way, enough to push the hiring specialists to go through your CV.