Cover letters are an important part of job applications. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills and give examples of those skills in practise, whether that is in previous jobs, or voluntary work experience. The attention you put into a cover letter can jump you up the list of applicants and put you ahead of applications that put the time and effort in to complete them.
Research the company
The first thing you should do, even before you start your cover letter, is research the company. If you want to demonstrate that you are better qualified for the job you are applying for (and you do!), then you need to know who the company is. That means find out what the company does, who their target audience is, what the job involves, and the specific skills they are looking for in a candidate. Start on the company’s website ‘About’ section. This is a fantastic place to find a bit more about the history and the core values that the company hold. You can then use their social media platforms to do further research about the company.
The opening paragraph
Open your first paragraph with the role you are applying for, followed by why, so there is no doubt which job at the company you are applying for. Recruiters also like it when you let them know where you saw the role advertised, and if someone within the organisation referred you to the job then mention their name as it could add credibility.
How to sell your skills
Your second paragraph is all about selling yourself. Use the skills and experience required in the job description and pick up the ones that you can demonstrate the best. Give examples when you have previously used the skills required. It is important to put yourself in the centre of your examples here. Continue with focus on the skills required in your third paragraph as well as showing an understanding of the company and how your can bring some success to the role.
How to close the letter
Your closing paragraph should reiterate your interest in taking on the challenge of the role and why you are the right fit. This is the perfect place to indicate that you would love the opportunity to interview with them and discuss the role further.
As you can see from the above, the cover letter is an extremely important part of any application. It is something that you want to get right, and it means you need to spend the time to ensure that you are putting the time and effort in. It will come across in your writing when you do spend the time.