Applying for a job doesn’t only involve sending through a cv and hoping for the best. You need to sell more than just your qualifications and skills. Companies want to know who you really are and if your personality will match with that of the company. Most employers expect to get a cover letter; it is no longer optional. Below are tips to help you write the perfect cover letter.
Know who you’re addressing
On every job that is advertised there is a contact person, make sure you address that person when you write your cover letter. If the job ad doesn’t state the contact person, do some research and find out who is responsible. Showing effort might just score you some points. Using a generic greeting such as “To whom it may concern” shows lack of effort.
Sell your skills and capabilities
Employers always want to know what you can do for them – how or what will they benefit from you. A cover letter can assist you by highlighting your skills. Emphasise what you will bring to the company to help them grow and succeed. You can try this by identifying a problem and providing a solution to them.
The HR manager already has a document that stipulates all of your educational background and your work experience. A cover letter should sell something different. Talk about your skills, hobbies and past achievements. If you don’t have any work experience, highlight challenges you have come across and how you overcame them (this must be work related). A cover letter gives you a platform to talk about experiences that you would not include in your cv.
Personalise your letter for every position
While you may have a template email that you can just make small edits to, in order to apply for every job, you are likely to make mistakes. Hiring managers can easily pick that up and not look at your cv. Every new job application should have a new cover letter. This helps you to show that you know about the specific job and that specific company. Try to include facts that are particular to the company you’re applying at.
Ensure that you research your desired job by visiting the company’s website and social media, this will give you a sense of their culture. You need to keep in mind that you are selling yourself as a brand and that the company has to hire you. Be mindful of your tone, you don’t want to sound too arrogant or too desperate. Spelling and grammar are essential. Remember, practice makes perfect!
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