Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

7 Tips to Creating an Outstanding Cover Letter [Guest Post]

By Kevin Nelson | Apr 5, 2017 | Candidate Tips

Man in suit (Cover Letter)

If you are in the middle of job seeking, then you probably realise what a pain CV composition can be as well as how hard it might be to craft a decent cover letter.

That is why so many CV writing services get thousands of desperate applicants of all ages asking them for help.

You should understand that a proper cover letter is not just a sign of politeness, but rather your chance to introduce yourself to a recruiter.

The CV provides them with information, or else “dry facts,” but that is not enough as they want to hire a bright personality and not simply a “no man” with impressive job experience.

However, even if you understand all of this, you might not know how a proper cover letter should start as well as what it must consist of.

So, let’s focus on what experienced recruiters say about it.

1. Keep It Short.

Just think about it: recruiters get dozens of cover letters and CVs on a daily basis.

They have to read them all and make their decisions based on the information they learn.

This means that they do not have time to read three pages of you going on and on about all the little details of your previous experience.

So, to impress the recruiters, you should demonstrate your respect for them and their time and keep it as short as possible.

2. Use the Keywords.

After you read a job description, make sure to take notes of the keywords in it.

For instance, when applying for a position of a Junior Java Developer, you will probably find words like Java SE, Android SDK, basic Android principles, SQLite, XML, JSON, etc.

In your cover letter, mention your level of expertise in these areas.

Let the recruiter see that you are perfect for them and meet all of their expectations.

(We recently posted a blog on this very topic, but with regard to CVs – check it out here.)

3. Name the Job Title.

When applying for a position, mention it in your cover letter.

Most recruiters look for perfect candidates for several positions at the same time.

So, to help them associate your name with a particular post, call it out loud and clear.

4. Talk to an Actual Person.

Usually, you can find a name of a person to contact in the job description, but even if not, you can always take some time and call the company or at least contact them via email to get an answer to this question.

You might wonder why this is important.

The answer is simple: when you address a real person, he or she is more likely to read your letter rather than leave it unnoticed.

It makes your approach really personal and increases your chances of being heard.

5. Keep It Personal.

This letter is your chance to make a good first impression.

It is hard to judge who you are from your CV, as it demonstrates your achievements but says nothing about your personality. So, when crafting a cover letter, let them see who you are.

Be real and do not try to suck up to them, but show your interest and excitement about opportunities a company has to offer.

Do not be all dry and serious about it, instead, emphasize your respect for the company.

6. Watch Your Tone.

Even though you want to make it personal, you should also remember that it is still business correspondence. Stick to ground rules and avoid going too formal.

In fact, some recruiters confess that letters which are way too formal irritate them, as they appear devious. And why would they want to hire someone who is not sincere from the beginning?

Therefore, if you want to get the job, sound honest and let them see your genuine interest in the position.

7. Show How You Can Contribute.

Even if you are not the perfect candidate they are looking for given your lack of experience in some areas, you can still point out all the excellent qualities you have.

In other words, you can state how you, working for that company, can make all the difference.

You do not have to be sorry for things you cannot do well, but rather focus on things which make you stand out of the crowd.

Besides, such an approach will let the recruiter see that you are not only looking for things to gain from the company but are willing to contribute to its success yourself.

Summary

We hope that this information helped you see the big picture of what a perfect cover letter should look like. Should you have any more questions, you can always find dozens of great examples online. We highly recommend you use those examples as they might give you a better understanding of what you should strive for in the end.



Hopefully after reading this great guest post from Kevin, you’re feeling confident about writing up your cover letter. But if you need any more tips, then here are some other great resources:

Good luck!

PS. If you’d like to sign up to our candidate blog and receive weekly updates, click here!

- Kevin Nelson
Kevin Nelson

Kevin Nelson

Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.

> More blog posts by Kevin Nelson

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