Tips on how to write a cover letter in 5 steps

How would I write a cover letter?

A job is hard to come by for the majority of people at present, no matter how qualified you are or perfect for each and every role you see advertised. Some people are in a position to walk into a job because of who they know, but for the rest of us, it is a much harder and much longer process.

Every application you make needs to be of the very highest quality. When a job comes up that suits you and isn’t just a stop gap, you need to ensure that you portray yourself in the best possible way.

Your cover letter is your written method of telling your potential boss all about you and what you can bring to the position. With an inbox full of CVs and application forms, many bosses rule out a number of applicants before they even reach the interview stage. It is crucial that yours stand out, and here are five key tips for getting yours into the interview pile.

Who are you, and for what job are you applying?

Those are two simple answers that are frequently overlooked in cover letters. If you begin with a clear and formal opening statement in which you inform the employer of who you are and the exact position you’re applying for, they can pass your details on to the relevant department easily. If you know someone within the company, or the name of the person/firm that mentioned the position to you, name them as this may work in your favour.

What can you bring to the role?

In the stages of your application that follow, you should state – in ideally two to three paragraphs – the key aspects of the position that you feel as though you could flourish in and really contribute to the team. For instance, you could use a line such as “My experience with this software stands me in good stead as I have used it in the past to produce…”

What “extras” could you bring?

So you meet all of the necessary criteria and have experience in using the specialist equipment, but what can you bring that is relevant that others can’t? This is your chance to impress and gain an advantage.

Are you professional or desperate?

While you want to do your best to impress your potential boss, you do not want to spend the whole document selling yourself. Ensure that your tone is professional and positive, but don’t go too far and become arrogant.

Do you know the company?

If you are going to be working for a company, it makes sense to know what it is that they do. Try and find out the name of the person running the recruitment process and address your application personally, (i.e., Ms Green rather than To Whom it may concern). Similarly, mention someone at the company with whom you would be working, specifying how your efforts could benefit Mr X’s quest to achieve goals.