A winning cover letter is a golden passport to that much-desired job.
Indeed, as Jake Bradley, Associate Director of Michael Page Human Resources, explains:
"Cover letters that are well-written demonstrate to employers that you are a unique, literate and enthusiastic candidate, reports DailyMail.
"They give you a chance to put forward your most relevant experience and achievements, and this really goes a long way in terms of grabbing the employers' attention."
But having just one sheet of paper upon which to sell yourself and everything you can do is no mean feat.
Here, Jake shares the perfect cover letter, as well as his golden rules for curating one that will land you your dream job.
1. Address the contact: Firstly, don't forget to address the contact mentioned in the job advert and to quote the reference. This will ensure that your application is processed by the right person and increases your chance of capturing their attention.
2. Outline your current role: It's important to outline your current job situation and why you are searching for new opportunities as this will provide context to the employer but also give you a chance to demonstrate ambition.
However, it's really important not to be negative about your current or past employers or job situation as this will reflect poorly on your attitude towards work.
3. Prove you've done your research: Showing that you've done your research about the company is always beneficial but stating why you are interested in them as an employer is particularly important. This is also a good time to tell them why they should also be interested in you as a potential employee and what you can bring to the business.
4. Highlight your transferable skills: Tailoring the information you share in this cover letter will avoid repetition and ensure that you present yourself in the best possible way and match the skills you put forward with the job description. Make sure you highlight your transferable skills, achievements and versatility.
5. Check, check, check: Finally, make sure your letter is neat, brief, and check it for typos. End your cover letter by politely expressing interest in further dialogue in order to keep the discussion open.
THE PERFECT COVER LETTER
Dear Mr Company,
In response to your recent advertisement for the 'Human Resources Recruitment
Specialist - MP123456' on http://www.website.co.uk/, please find attached my curriculum vitae for your consideration.
I have the following experience which is well aligned to the requirements of the role.
• Successful human resources recruitment specialist with four years' experience.
• Experience gained in leading FTSE 25O global recruitment company.
• Thorough understanding of the human resources market having worked on both specialist and generalist roles.
• Multiple sector experience having worked with both the private and public sector.
In my current role as a human resources recruitment specialist I have achieved the following.
• Established relationships with the human resources functions of two leading retail banks and as a result now have preferred supplier status not only for HR, but the wider business.
• Diversified client base by 20% YOY.
• Increased job numbers across client base by 45% YOY.
• Increased productivity and revenue by 30% YOY.
• Requested to be account director by one of the 'Big Four' and have successfully performed in the role.
• Managed multiple projects alongside day to day activity; organising CSR day, charity quiz which raised £6,000 for charity, client and candidate entertainment event.
I believe that my experience to date is very well aligned to the requirements of this role, and I am confident that I will be a valuable asset to your organisation.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact details provided on my CV. I am available for an interview at your convenience and I look forward to hearing from you.
Employers often have many applications to deal with – so make your cover letter work for you. The cover letter is often the first contact between you and a prospective employer. An employer will judge your suitability partly based on this letter.
Your cover letter should cover two key points:
- What you have to offer the organisation
- Why you want to work in this job/position for this organisation, including positive comments about the reputation or performance of the organisation
Treat your application as a marketing document
Your cover letter needs to show your energy, enthusiasm, passion or drive.
It is important that you highlight your:
- Qualities that make you stand out from the crowd
- Skills and abilities. These need to be clearly outlined in order to show how you meet the requirements of the position. Obtaining a job description is important for this task
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Do your research into the organisation
The more informed you are about the organisation and position, the better you can match your skills to those required. Ring the organisation for more information, if necessary.
Need more cover letter help?
Read our cover letter guide “The Cover Letter Demystified”. It provides a model that can be used to respond to advertised positions as well as for unsolicited direct applications.
Read our Cover Letter FAQ for more helpful information.
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