Writing a Covering Letter

When writing a covering letter the key is to keep it short and to the point – absolutely no more than one sheet of A4.  As a leading recruitment agency we see literally hundreds of CVs and covering letters every day, and the long rambling ones are generally ignored – not just by agencies but by internal HR Managers as well,  simply because they will take too long to read.    When you are writing your covering letter always have a copy of the job advert or job description beside you. Highlight or underline the key attributes or skills the company is looking for in the person for this role before you write your cover letter.

So What Should Your Cover Letter Say?
It should have the following:-
State clearly what role you are applying for – if there is a job reference number put it into your covering letter.
Explain why you feel you are suitable for the role – in the form of short bullet points – this bit is really important, make sure your bullet points match the 5 key skills, experience or attributes stated on the job advert.
Then thank them for considering your application and let them know you would be delighted to discuss your application further.

Why Write The Cover Letter This Way?
If you consider the person reviewing your application and your CV, put yourself in their shoes, what they are looking for are people who “match their job description” so if you clearly put the top 5 ways in which you “match their job description” in your cover letter your CV is much more likely to be shortlisted for an interview.  If your letter is too long the recruiter or hiring manager in the company may leave it in a “read later” folder which could stop your application from being shortlisted and you losing out in the opportunity.

Note: Rambling CV’s are also unpopular – CV’s should generally be 2 pages long (3 at a maximum) – where possible you should create a short profile at the top of your CV and use this or a key achievements list on the front page of your CV to match your CV to the companies  key job requirements list.  This is very helpful if your cover letter gets detached from your CV.

The Key Objective
What you really want to do is very quickly ensure that the hiring manager or recipient of your CV can see clearly, and quickly, that you are indeed a match for their role, so that they shortlist you for an interview.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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