How to structure your next cover letter

TL;DR? Here are the do's and don'ts to bear in mind when you write your next cover letter

The Do’s:

Make your cover letter specific to the company's specifications.

Let it be succinct.

Get it compelling, and capture the recruiters attention.

Read thoroughly. Read it repeatedly and aloud. If necessary, ask others to read it to catch any minor mistake or grammar error.

Use suitable format; look professional.

The Don’ts:

Standardise it

Overdo it! Think about what's important and appropriate for the company, and the actual position / role in particular.

Make it longer than one side of A4

Keep errors that facilitate the company's refusal of your application.

Boost your application with a well designed CV to go with your cover letter

If a recruiter asks for a CV to apply for a position you should always attach a cover letter. This is your chance to present yourself and showcase your ability to perform the job you're applying for. You have to take some time with the cover letter to make sure that they're impeccable. A cover letter must be attention-grabbing and succinct, an integral aspect of every work application.

Keep your cover letter short thus ensuring your feasibility for the role is highlighted. Consider dividing your cover letter into the following sections:

First paragraph: the initial statement should specify why the letter is being written. Start by defining the role for which you are interested, how you came into contact with the opening, and when you are ready to start.

Second paragraph: discuss why you are right for the role, what drew you to this form of work, why you are interested in working for the organisation and what you can contribute to the business.

Third paragraph: highlight appropriate experience and indicate how the basic criteria of the job requirements complement your skills. Outline any additional abilities and clarify how those would support the organisation.

Last paragraph: complete your letter using the closing paragraph. Reaffirm your enthusiasm for the job and demonstrate your wish for a personal meeting. This  is the time to note any dates which are unsuitable for you. End by thanking the recruiter and telling them how you look forward to getting an answer.

With employers typically receiving high numbers of applications for each position, you must ensure that your cover letter gives a powerful impact and positive impression straight off the bat. Here's a few suggestions that will boost your likelihood of succeeding:

1. To align with the company, you should update your cover letter each time you apply for a job. For all applications, submitting a standardised cover letter rarely delivers positive outcomes, and recruiters can notice the lack of time and energy from a mile away. So tailor all your cover letters to every specific opening.

2. Never depend on a proofreading program for every other typo. Double check for grammatical and spelling errors before submitting it to a member of your family or friend to look at. Make sure your contact information and the name of the company are right too.

3. Presentation is essential so you'll need to accurately type your cover letter. Ensure the letter is as clean and simple as possible, make sure you are using the same font and size as you use in your CV.

4. Recognise your qualities, they are your exclusive unique selling points. Be confident in what you're about to contribute, and explain clearly how your qualifications and experience fulfil the criteria of the job description. Show yourself why you're the right choice.

5. Provide references. Back up the arguments with actual facts or references in your cover letter that illustrate how and when you have used your knowledge and expertise.

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