Speaking to the professionals: how to write a great covering letter
Cover Letter

After catching up with our amazing recruiters Liz and Sue, we have created this blog to help you guys create a great covering letter.

So, you’ve spent ages on your CV and now you need to provide a covering letter; yes, it can seem daunting, but it is vital. Almost every one of our clients expect a covering letter to accompany the CV and if it’s not up to scratch it may be detrimental to your application.

Now you’ve probably at some point googled ‘cover letter template’, made a few tweaks and sent it off to as many decent companies as you could find in the shortest amount of time. This is mistake number one, which leads us on to our first point.

1)     What is a covering letter?

Your covering letter holds any additional information to your CV, for example; why you’re suitable, your skills and attributes, what makes you stand out and what you can bring to the company. It is ok to use a base covering letter to get you started and give you some inspiration, but it needs to be completely developed and tailored to the job in every way. Which brings us on to point two.

2)     Tailor it!

You need to tailor and relate each covering letter to every job! All the skills you include need to be beneficial to the company, for example; if you’re a marketer looking for a more senior role and have worked on many diverse campaigns – you would want to include and showcase your adaptability and versatility skills in the letter.

3)     What will make you stand out?

Things to include in your letter:

–          Accomplishments! They need to be meaningful not just to you, but to the company as well.

–          Evidence of successes and if applicable KPI’s: exceeded targets, % increase, ROI.

–          It’s ok to brag, if you don’t tell anybody about your successes, how will they know?

–          Try adopting the company’s tone; if they’re a corporate company it may be more of a structured letter with a matter-of-fact tone. But if its more of a creative company, you may have more freedom to be creative, charming and even funny.

  1. Finishing Touches

Now you’ve got the basics of what to include, your next step will be the finishing touches.

–          In terms of length, one page maximum, three or four paragraphs (400 words) including our tips and tricks will be great – strictly no waffle.

–          Make sure it’s error free – this may be obvious but the number of candidates with spelling and grammar mistakes in their CVs and covering letters is astounding.

–          ALWAYS address to the company or the person hiring so that it is personal to them.

–          Nowadays, there is no excuse for not finding the right name of the recruiter, if you really can’t find it online then ring the company to clarify.

–          Lastly, it’s tempting to treat the final lines of your cover letter as a throwaway: ‘I look forward to hearing from you.’ But your closing paragraph is your last chance to emphasise your interest in the company or how you’d be a great fit for the position.

Finishing point: Basically, if you’re not going to make your cover letter interesting, packed with extra detail, and tailored entirely to the company you’re applying to, then it’s not worth having one at all.


Written by Isabelle Peters – Marketing Assistant

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