Writing a persuasive cover letter is a highly valuable skill that will propel your applications into the shortlist of candidates to be interviewed.
The cover letter should be brief and succinct with just enough key information that will make the recruiter want to read the resume.
Here are our 10 key tips in achieving exactly that:
1. Create a letter that matches the formatting of your resume, but still looks like a letter. For example, if you have a header on your resume with your name and contact information, then this header should be matched on your cover letter. Then include the items necessary on a letter, such as the date and contact information of the person you are writing to and the position you are applying for.
2. Create an introduction – approximately 2 lines succinctly stating that you hold the skills, knowledge and attributes to excel/be an asset in this role.
3. Review 2 or 3 advertisements for the types of jobs you would like to apply for and select the 3 unified themes – the top 3 skills or competencies that all of these positions require (eg: relationship management, organisational skills or staff management).
4. Review your resume, do your top 3 skills and achievements match the top 3 competencies from the job ads? Best case scenario is that they would, however in the situation where you feel that it would be better to highlight 1 or 2 other areas, identify what these are.
5. You should now have 3 skills or competencies that highlight your greatest achievements and appeal to the requirements listed in the types of jobs you would like to apply for. You need to create 1 paragraph relating to each, referring to a relevant example (eg: During my time XYZ Company I exceeded my quarterly sales targets by 20% as a direct result of these skills).
6. Create a “call-to-action” conclusion – 2 or 3 lines once again summarising your value to the organisation and the role you are applying for, refer to your attached resume, detail your immediate availability for an interview and state your preferred contact method (we recommend mobile over email).
7. Remove as many I’s and My‘s as you can – these are generally overused throughout cover letters. Experiment with other sentence starters, such as: having, possessing, with etc.
8. Remove all of the “unsure” statements – saying “I believe” or “strive for” gives the impression that you’re not competent or confident in this area, you should be sounding as though you do rather than you try.
9. Have a break from writing, leave your computer for at least 30 minutes, go for a walk or get some fresh air to take your mind off the cover letter. Return to your cover letter, with a refreshed view for the next step.
10. Proofread Your Cover Letter – proofread your cover letter by ensuring that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Re-read the cover letter and try to make the sentences flow better, remove ‘filler words’ such as therefore, such as, additionally, furthermore, and however.
Read the cover letter aloud to hear if the cover letter flows. Ensure the cover letter is succinct and delete any sentences that does don’t back up the main benefits of employing someone such as yourself.
If you want your cover letter written for you, contact us today on 1300 979 890.