Top tips to get your cover letter noticed

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Your CV cover letter can give you a huge boost when applying for jobs, providing you the opportunity to expand on your skills and experiences and giving your potential new employer a deeper insight as to why you are right for the job.

Job hunting can be time consuming and writing a cover letter can sometimes be the hardest part. However, it can have the biggest impact on your success in finding a role - so getting it right is essential. 

Here, Walters People offer four key tips on how to get your cover letter right and to help you stand out and get your dream job.

Adapt the cover letter to the job spec

Each cover letter you write should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Cover letters should not be vague or generic, rather they should really show your desire to work for the company you are applying for.

Within your cover letter you want to highlight why you would be a valuable addition to the team. Try adapting your letter to fit the skills and capabilities required for the role by adding in some of the phrases and skills listed in the job advert into your cover letter.

Include a section in the letter to showcase your knowledge of the industry and why you want to work for this company specifically. This will show the hiring manager that you are passionate and motivated to be part of their business.

Each cover letter you write should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Cover letters should not be vague or generic, rather they should really show your desire to work for the company you are applying for.

Watch the short video below to find out more about tailoring your cover letter to the job
you are applying for: 

Look out for the basics 

When applying for multiple roles, it’s easy to rush your cover letter. However, this can cause mistakes and errors that could potentially lose out on the chance of being put forward for an interview – for a mistake that is so easily avoidable.

Take your time. Hiring managers will often skim read a cover letter and quickly discard any that have spelling errors or typos, as this helps to reduce the time to shortlist applications. When a hiring manager sees these simple errors, they will interpret them as ‘lazy’ or ‘I can’t be bothered to put my full effort into this’ so they are likely to move straight onto the next potential candidate application.  

Don’t just re-write your CV

A cover letter is not a re-write of your CV. However, this is one of the most common mistakes seen in applications. Your cover letter is separate to your CV and is used to supplement and reinforce why someone would want to hire you. It is not the chance to reiterate what they already know about you from your CV.

So, a key tip is to use your cover letter as a chance to stand out. Showcase your skills and expertise and why you are the ideal candidate for the role over the 50+ other applications going for the position. Hiring managers will have to read many cover letters before shortlisting a potential handful of candidates, so ensure you’re in that shortlist by standing out and using your cover letter to get you noticed.

Be concise

Detail is key in a cover letter to ensure you get all the relevant information across, but without waffling on and boring the hiring manager. Being concise in your writing is a tricky skill and is something that can actually help you land a job.

Try sparing the hiring manager every little detail of your career path so far, and just give them the details that they will be interested in. Not every part of your career to date may be relevant and, some details can just wait to be discussed during the interview, so you should only focus on the information relevant to the specific job.

You want your cover letter to stand and be remembered for all the right reasons. By sticking to these few simple tips, you are one step closer to your next job – just remember to take a few minutes to make sure you’re putting your best ‘pen’ forward.  

Don’t underestimate the power of a cover letter, it can be just as important as a CV in securing you your dream role.

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