Cover Letter: how to write it

Use the Job Description wisely…

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager.  They know they need someone in their team, and they know what they want them to be able to do.  They put the duties and responsibilities, as best they can, into the Job Description (JD) they write.

As a job hunter, this is the most important document you have, please use it wisely.

Personalising your CV for each job application is, perhaps, not something you want to do, even if you should.

However, you should write a cover letter for each application, this is where you need to utilise the information in the job description.  For each point raised on the JD you need to answer this in your cover letter.

For example, if the JD asks for experience of managing people or teams; you need to specifically answer this point:  “In my current role I manage a team of six people, their roles vary from administrator to senior trainer, I have a democratic leadership style and like my team to have the freedom to work knowing they have the support when needed…”

If the job description asks for attention to detail, please provide an example of when your attention to detail has led to a positive outcome.  “My previous role required me to review our documents, prior to them being sent to the publishers.  I found an average of six errors in the documents I reviewed, by changing them before printing, I saved the company more than £4,000 in printing costs.”

Finally, do your research on the company, say something positive and sincere.  “I have been following your company on LinkedIn and Twitter for more than a year now.  I am so impressed with your product development and positive news stories, especially the story relating to (enter specific example).  I would love the opportunity to work for you and add value to your organisation.

To summarise:

  • Read the job description thoroughly!
  • Answer every key point with real life examples and positive outcomes
  • A small extra effort could lead to you landing your next job!
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