Take time and care when you are drafting your cover letter. Each cover letter should be tailored to the role you are applying for and shouldn’t be a copy and paste job.
There is lots of information out there on how to do a cover letter, so take advantage of it. Take time to consider what you would like to see in a cover letter if you were a hiring manager. Here are my top tips for a fantastic cover letter:
1. Address your cover letter correctly
When writing a cover letter, it is always best to use their name and address them directly. This feels much more tailored and personal and will prove you have done your research. If you don’t know who to address the cover letter to, see if you can do some research and find out.
Give the HR department a call, and see if they can tell you the name of the hiring manager, or go over the job advertisement and see if a name is provided. If not, start with something like ‘Dear Hiring Manager,’ or ‘To Whom It May Concern.’
2. Consider the length of your cover letter
Anything that appears too long or too short can be off-putting for the person reading it. If it is too short, it may seem like not much effort has been put in. If it is too long, an employer may be disinclined to read the entire thing.
For me, half a page is about right. Any longer than that and I already don’t want to read it! Any shorter than that, and it looks like you are doing the bare minimum, which doesn’t give a good impression.
3. Follow the instructions on the job posting
Make sure you read through the job posting and follow any instructions provided in the cover letter. If they want you to send it in a certain format (such as PDF or Microsoft Word), make sure you comply with this.
If you haven’t followed the instructions properly, it is possible your application will get rejected. It’s also really important to make sure the files are not corrupted and can be opened. This happens all too often, and it’s a simple thing to check.
4. Personalise it
There are many templates and suggestions you can refer to if you are not used to writing cover letters. Don’t get caught out with copying someone else’s cover letter from a Google search, make sure you have personalised it and made an effort. Keep it relevant to the job you are applying for and make sure you include keywords from the job posting.
5. Check, check and check again
If you are applying for multiple jobs, make sure you double check you have changed the information before sending.
I have been caught out with this before when I responded to an ad for a role in resume writing services and my cover letter said I was applying for a role in finance. Oops! This looks bad, and I can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to get an interview if you do this.