Cover Letter – What should you include? Hopefully you had chance to check out my last post Is the Cover Letter Dead? and if you did then this post might be slightly confusing! As I ended by saying the traditional cover letter wasn’t needed and now I am saying what should you include in it? Don’t panic I haven’t back tracked. This is going to be all about what to include in your introduction when sending off your CV to an employer.
The introduction is the first thing that the recruiter gets to see when you send off your application and some employers are making judgements at that stage. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but that doesn’t really count in the job search unfortunately. Employers are spending seconds on your applications, seconds! So what should you include in that introduction to ensure they stay for a little longer to find out how great you are.
What’s it all about?
First things first you need to get to the point. Why are you writing to this employer? You need to start off by explaining what job you wish to apply for and where you saw that job advertised. Straight out the gate you are showing the recruiter you aren’t just pressing apply blindly. You actually want to apply for their role. There is nothing worse than getting an application through that states the wrong job title or company name – you need to be checking your application before sending!
Why are you interested?
It’s never enough just to say you want to apply for a job, you need to show your enthusiasm and passion for the role. You need to break it down in to two main sections. Why are you interested in the job and the company.
- It starts by doing your research. Find out about the company and add a small element of your research in your first paragraph. Whether knowing they are a award winning design company, or they are associated with a particular professional body. Every company wants to know what you know about them and how you’ll fit with the company culture so make it clear in your cover letter.
- Secondly, think about what stood out to you in the advert. When you first read the about the role what made you want to apply, did they speak about a great training programme or their fantastic charity work? Again, you are highlighting that you have actually read and researched the role but more importantly you are making the introduction relevant to the recruiter.
Why do you fit the role?
Essentially you need to summarises yourselfin no more than a page, detailing why the employer should keep reading. No one likes generic or rehearsed so be natural, tailored and show you passion for their role.
I promise you, you will hear back much quicker if you just spend a little extra time on tailoring your approach.