We all know the UK is facing economic difficulties at the moment and many companies are struggling to stay afloat. This means new job opportunities don’t always come along very often and if you’re lucky enough to find a vacancy, you’ve got to make yourself stand out from the crowd if you want to be successful.
The covering letter you write plays a big part in this and while your CV is obviously important, the covering letter will be the first thing employers see. It needs to grab the attention of the reader, promote your skills and really show companies what you can bring to their organisation.
So how can you ensure you have the very best covering letter possible? Here’s a few tips that will help to ensure the job is yours.
CVs need to be brief and formal so that interviewers can look through them and instantly see the facts presented to them with bullet points. Your covering letter is different and it is this you should use to show off your writing ability and any creative flair.
A covering letter should NOT be a quick, two-line message saying: “Please find my CV attached, I look forward to hearing from you.” A covering letter is the first thing an employer will see, so make sure it’s interesting. At the same time, don’t ramble. If you go over more than one side of an A4 sheet of paper your interviewer will probably get bored and give up. Similarly, keep your sentences fairly short and to the point.
Get the opening right
The opening line of your covering letter has got to be sharp and to the point. It should stand out to the reader, so that when they are considering which candidates to interview they instantly think of you.
You should make sure you address your letter properly and if you have been given a particular individual to send your CV and covering letter to, ensure you use their name. Remember this is a letter – you need your contact details in the top right-hand corner, as well as the date.
What information should you include?
After your introduction, explaining the position you are applying for and where you saw the advert, you should go on to detail any qualifications you have that make you suitable for the role. Similarly, allude to the skills required for the role and show that you have them.
The next step is to prove that you are someone the company should be hiring. Expand on the most relevant points of your CV and go into detail about any relevant career goals you have to show that you are serious about the position and the opportunities it could provide you with.
Finally, before closing the letter you need to express that you are looking forward to being asked for an interview and would be keen to meet members of the team. Don’t be too pushy, but make sure you’re assertive and are keen to be considered for the position.
Covering letters are just as important as your CV and they need to be good. Avoid saying ‘I’ too much and vary your sentence structure – if every paragraph starts with the same thing it’ll look like you can’t write and have no imagination. Read through it several times – just as you would your CV – and ensure there are absolutely no typos or mistakes, as this looks sloppy and unprofessional.
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This guest blog was contributed by Steve Willis a freelance writer who is dedicated to helping you to find the best direct employer jobs and Google UK jobs