For many people starting their job search, writing a cover letter can be a daunting task. It is hard to know where to start and how to sum up why you are the ideal candidate for the job in just a few short paragraphs. Follow these five tips to make sure your cover letter makes you stand out from the crowd.
Be specific: Most people’s cover letters are very general. In order to make your application stand out, you need to be specific about why you want that job in that particular company. Make sure you state clearly the job you are applying for as a hiring manager could be hiring for countless jobs at one time.
A cover letter is your chance to show that you have done your homework on the company and show a true desire to work for the company. Most importantly, make sure that if you are stating a company by name, you have the correct name in the cover letter. Hiring managers know you are probably applying for roles in various companies but it shows sloppiness and no attention to detail if you get it wrong.
State your strengths: This does not refer to the cliché strengths everyone gives - strong communication skills, brilliant team player, and hardworking etc. Focus on strengths specific to you that can be supported with evidence. Whether it is your extensive work experience in a relevant area or your academic achievements, make sure you state them clearly. Cover letters are a time to be boastful even if Irish culture has trained many people to be overly modest and not sell themselves to the fullest.
Keep it short and to the point: Cut down on any information that is irrelevant to the job for which you are applying. Hiring managers have to review dozens of cover letters and CVs. The vast majority of the time they will not read your application; they might just simply skim it for the relevant information. Don’t waste your time (or theirs ) by writing paragraphs of irrelevant information.
Clean formatting and no grammatical errors: First impressions really count when you only have 15 seconds to make an impact with your cover letter. Read and re-read your cover letter to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. It is always a good idea to get a family member or friend to check it over with fresh eyes.
Typographical errors also leave a lasting impression, and not of the positive kind. Make sure your font and text size is consistent throughout your cover letter. Make sure to use punctuation where needed and have clearly structured paragraphs.
To sum up: Re-state your interest in the job, and thank the hiring manager for taking the time to consider you.
For a full list of jobs available from Sigmar Recruitment, click here.