Many see cover letters as an optional extra and in many cases a real chore, especially when applying for multiple roles. However, a great cover letter can be a powerful tool that can really help you both stand out above other candidates and also build a better and fuller picture of yourself for the hiring manager.
Cover letters come in all shapes and sizes, and although there are exceptions we recommend keeping to 250-300 words. This is proven to be the ‘ideal’ length for hiring managers and recruitment specialist who are reviewing your application.
It’s important to remember to write a fresh cover letter for each application, of course you can use a template but please remember to make it authentic for each opportunity you are applying for. It’s easier than you think to spot a ‘copy and paste to all’ cover letter and that can have a negative affect your application.
Don’t forget the basics….
Include the hiring manager’s name in the salutation of your cover letter. Let them know you’re speaking directly to them e.g. ‘Dear Mr Timothy Harper’/ ‘Dear Mr Harper’. If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager, even after a bit of googling, ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ will do just fine.
Take time to craft a really great opening line that introduces yourself in a way that highlights your excitement about the company you’re applying to, your passion for the work you do and also add in an impressive but relevant achievement or success you’re proud of.
The main body of the cover letter isn’t a place to just repeat what is already stated in your CV, instead use it to expand on key points and experiences that are relevant to the role to ensure you are building the best possible picture of yourself for the hiring manager. Remember, you are showing why you are the perfect fit for the role in question. Don’t be afraid to back up some of your successes and achievements with numbers and statistics.
Sign off your cover letter with a closing paragraph that really lands a punch. This final paragraph is the place you want to reiterate your passion for the company, its mission and the skills and experience you will bring to this position.
Before you go ahead and click send, make sure to ask a trusted friend or loved one to read over both your cover letter and CV. They’ll hopefully see any little mistakes you may have missed, they may even suggest some subtle additions or tweaks to make them even better. Alternatively, you can use Apps such as Grammerly or Hemingway.
Pro tip: Consider presenting your cover letter in the form of a short video. Yes this is unusual, however, it will allow you to stand out from the crowd as you can be sure not many other candidates will be doing this. Creating a video will also give you the opportunity to inevitably showcase more of yourself and character which just isn’t easily translated through a CV and a portfolio.
As always the team at Tru Talent are here to help and support in your recruitment needs, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.