Top 3 Tips for writing a good cover letter

Top 3 Cover letter tips for candidates

Employers now rarely request a cover letter to accompany an application, expecting a CV to outline all relevant skills and experience relevant to their role. If  a cover letter is not requested, candidates should consider what value it will add, or even if it is likely to be read. It may be better to tailor your profile section to include any additional information. If however, a cover letter is requested, you should ensure you give it the attention it deserves. Below are our Top 3 Cover letter tips for candidates to help secure that interview:

#1 – Research before you write

Before you put pen to paper or your fingers on the keyboard, you will need to conduct some research by visiting the company website, social media pages, and by reviewing the job description. With all the information available you should have everything you need to create a great covering letter.

#2 – Ease of reading

Make sure you use spell check and read through your letter a few times before saving and sending. Do not fall into the trap of attempting to impress the reader by forcing big words in. Communication is a skill that most employers are looking for. If the reader requires a dictionary to understand what you are trying to communicate, they are more likely to see this as a communication issue.

#3 – Content

A cover letter will usually be requested to accompany your CV, so simply repeating the same information may be a waste of time. You should take this opportunity to add something to your application.

It is important to have a plan in place to avoid waffle and repetition. The length and content are the most important element of any letter. Long letters can have a tendency to be more confused, and don’t flow from one section to the next. So what should a cover letter include?

  1. Introduction – Start with a polite greeting and introduce yourself, before addressing the following simple questions (which you have researched):
  2. Industry – Why do you want to work in this industry? Is this an area you have worked in in the past or always been passionate about? Have you have enjoyed studying or recently gained a qualification in this area?
  3. Company – Why do you want to work for the specific company? This may relate to the products or service that the business provides, the culture and values of the organisation, or the reputation that it has in the local market.
  4. Role – What skills and experience can you bring to the role? Describe why you think you would be a good match for the role.

A good length is one of two paragraphs for each question, and no more than two thirds of a page in total.

For more tips on both video and face to face interviews, as well as CV and cover letter writing visit the Candidate Support area on our website.