The Importance of a Good Cover LetterPosted on December 8, 2017
Your cover letter is the first impression you give a potential employer, you might have an incredible CV – but they won’t read it if your cover letter doesn’t interest them. A well-written cover letter gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself, highlight achievements on your CV and stand out from the crowd. You should always tailor your cover letter for each application, it’s easy to spot a generic one that’s been sent to several other employers, which doesn’t reflect well on you.
Always research the company you’re applying to. This will help you understand the position more clearly and you’ll be able to tailor your application in a more meaningful way. Job titles and descriptions can be vague, but if you understand what the company does and what its ethos is, you’ll gain a better understanding of the position too. Try to find out whom you should be addressing your cover letter to, avoiding ‘To Whom It May Concern’ at all costs.
- Your cover letter should not be a repeat of the content in your CV; instead, it should be a brief introduction to you and your personality. Your content for this can be broken down into four key paragraphs:
- Open your letter by explaining why you are contacting the company. In this paragraph you may want to make reference to how you became aware of the position or of the person who referred you.
- Why do you want to work for the company and why this particular role? It is at this point that it pays to demonstrate you have done your research about the company and have not just sent out a copy and pasted letter.
- Time to get to the point - why are you the right person for the job? Briefly explain any qualifications or previous experience which you feel makes you the ideal candidate. To reinforce your suitability, make reference to any relevant skills mentioned in the job description.
- Reiterate your desire to work for the company and let them know that you would be happy to meet with the employer for an interview.
Letter vs Email
When we discuss cover letters, of course most of the time now it’s an email. When sending an application by email you may be attaching your CV or application form – but where does the cover letter go? Paste your cover letter in the body of the email and only include it as an attachment if the advert specifies that.
Find more guides on writing CVs and cover letters as well as interview tips on our candidate resources page. Upload your CV and we’ll be in contact with you, we appreciate the time that goes into preparing a CV so we promise to reply to every application we receive.