Posted 08 September 2017 | 0 Comments

The power of the cover letter is not to be underestimated. With countless CV’s landing in a recruiter/employer’s inbox every week, a well written covering letter can be the differentiator that makes your name the one they remember when deciding who to call for an interview.

Taking the time to plan what you intend to say and how it will make you stand out is a really important part of the application process. This letter is a massive weapon in your job hunting arsenal. Don’t head off to war with a butter knife and a water pistol!

 NOTE: “Please see the attached CV. I look forward to hearing from you” is not a letter. It’s a sentence. – A JOB SEARCH DEATH SENTENCE! (Too dramatic..?)

If you know the name of the company before you make your application, be sure to find out a bit about them and include some information in your cover letter to show you did your homework. Take a look at the company website, check out the kind of work they do and make sure to mention when you’ve seen something you like.

A great opportunity to highlight your interest can come about when you’ve used the company’s products or services before. Let them know what it was you liked about that experience and how much it makes you want to join the team who made it happen. – Simple and memorable.

Make sure you read the advert carefully. Note down ways that your knowledge and experience matches their requirements and be sure to detail any transferable skills in areas where you appear to fall short of what they want.

If you are applying via a recruitment agency, be aware that in most cases the end client (the employer) will have strict rules about candidates being put forward who don’t meet their exact specifications. While you may indeed have the ability to learn on the job, a recruiter isn’t being cruel when they don’t progress your application, they’re just not allowed.

The best way to get around this issue if you are trying to break into a new industry is to contact businesses directly and speak to the hiring managers. A hiring manager based within the company you want to join will be in a better position to make a judgement call and may give you a chance in situations where external recruiters aren’t able to.

TOP TIP: Explain yourself. It really is that simple.

Studies show that that recruiters and hiring managers will look at your CV (on average) for 6 seconds before a judgment is made about your suitability for the role. Sounds harsh but when you consider the volume of applications that would be received for one role, time does become a factor in the selection process.

This isn’t to say that your CV will never be read thoroughly. Once you’re seen to be a potential candidate for the position, the reader will come back for more detail but eye tracking software suggests the key information checked in the first instance would be your name and location plus the job title and length of employment in your last two roles. Keep this is mind when you write your cover letter and make sure you highlight anything you think will make you stand out beyond this

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