Don’t go overboard with the flattery, as this could risk you coming across as insecure, insincere or sycophantic.Professionalism, maturity and authenticity are vital qualities to communicate from the beginning of your relationship with the employer. A cover letter is, after all, a letter addressed directly to the employer.
And certainly, don’t just copy and paste your cover letter for every position you apply for – make it personal and targeted every time.
It’ll be obvious to an employer if you’ve just edited a few words of the same cover letter that you send to everyone else, which may suggest you have little real interest in the vacancy. The first sentence of the cover letter will either grab the hiring manager’s attention or lose it, so it needs to powerfully demonstrate that you understand what they are looking for and need.
Or perhaps you crossed paths as an intern or an employee at one of the company’s suppliers or competitors? Also check the job description again, in case the employer asks applicants to include something specific in the subject line.
Use keywords mentioned in the job description, but don’t keyword-stuff in the hope that your application will get picked up in any applicant tracking software – it is possible to overdo your use of keywords.
Instantly communicate your unique selling points that will help to solve the hiring manager’s problems, such as relevant industry knowhow, skills, experience and achievements, instead of the generic ‘I’m applying for the role of ____.’ If you’ve come across this opportunity via a friend or have a previous connection with the organisation, mention it.
Maybe you were previously introduced to the hiring manager by this person because they thought you were a good fit for the role?Include your contact information including your name, phone number, email address and Linked In URL. Conclude the main body of the cover letter with a power phrase such as, ‘I would like to discuss in greater detail the value I could bring to your organisation’, and close with the formal and widely accepted ‘Best regards’ or ‘Sincerely’. If you’re submitting your cover letter as an attachment online, write it in a Word document so that the program can flag up obvious issues like misspellings.Also, check that any formatting in Word translates properly into the email or online form.I was previously introduced to your company by your colleague, Susan Bainbridge, at the recent ____ trade fair, and became particularly intrigued by the work you do and the culture of the business.Subsequently, I was especially excited to see the role of ____ recently advertised on your website.I believe my 15 years as a senior manager for one of the biggest names in the ____ sector, overseeing a 25pc rise in revenues over the last half-decade, uniquely equips me to build upon the experience I already have, apply my knowledge and skills to the role of ____ , and dedicate myself wholeheartedly to your business.Pinsent Media is at a similar stage of its development to my present employer when I began my role with them, and I would love nothing more than to be able to help drive similarly incredible growth and success for your business.Your cover letter needs to communicate that you are genuinely interested in the opportunity that the given role represents and why.This means the letter needs to be tailored, and not just a standard letter that you’ve edited.This is a document that candidates sometimes submit alongside their CV when applying for a job.It serves as a personal introduction to you as a professional, and enables you to briefly summarise why you are the right person for the job, before the reader goes on to find out more about you in your CV.