We are often asked whether or not a cover letter should be included when submitting a job application. Our answer will always be a resounding yes!
A cover letter allows you to showcase why you are the best match for the role and highlight what sets you apart from other applicants. Most importantly it can be tailored for each role you apply for.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a written document, often attached to your CV as part of a job application.
Your CV will list your qualifications and previous experience but is not tailored specifically to each role applied for. A cover letter will allow you to illustrate your fitness for the role, by highlighting any previous experience which has given you the skills needed to fulfil the requirements in the initial job description. If well written, it will demonstrate your professionalism and competence, and reveal a little bit of your personality.
What is the format of a cover letter?
A new cover letter should be written for every job application, but the format generally remains the same.
It should include: –
An address and salutation
Include your name, address, contact details and the date.
Address the letter to the hiring manager. If you do not know their name “Dear Hiring Manager” is considered less old fashioned than “Dear Sir” or “To whom it may concern”.
An introduction that tells the hiring manager who you are and what role you are applying for.
If you know someone in the organisation and have spoken to them about the role or you have done some research about the company, mention it.
A brief explanation of your interest in the role, and why you are well suited to it.
Study the language and tone of the job description and mirror it. Describe what it is about the position that has made you want to apply.
An outline of your qualifications and relevant experience which demonstrate that you fulfil the requirements as listed in the job’s description.
You should back up your claims with examples, borrowing words from the job description itself so that the hiring manager can clearly see you have paid attention to the job listing and are a good fit for the job.
A short conclusion that reiterates your interest in the job, the best ways to reach you, and closes with a friendly but professional sign-off- “yours sincerely” if you know the name of the hiring manager, “yours faithfully” if not.
It should be no more than one page (approximately 500 words) in length, any longer and the hiring manager will probably lose interest. Try to make it concise, accurate and specific to the role you are applying for. Avoid weak and passive verbs, stay away from business jargon or clichés, and watch out for tired words and phrases.
Procurement Cover Letter Template
A large number of templates are available online and on Microsoft Word and can be modified to fit your needs.
However, we have included a basic cover letter template for ease:
- write a new one for every application you do and make sure it’s targeted to each company and the specific job.
- Use a professional font with the same lettering style and size as you did for your CV, so it looks consistent.
- make sure the company name and recruiter’s details are correct.
- use the right language and tone – keep it professional and match the keywords used by the employer in their job advert.
- be clear and concise, 3 to 5 paragraphs neatly laid out is enough.
- show you’ve done your research into the job and the company.
- stand out from other applicants by highlighting your most relevant skills and experience.
- back up any statements you make with facts.
- double check spelling and grammar before you send it.
- keep a copy of your cover letter – you may be asked about it at interview.
For further information, contact Emily Stewart
T: 07593 447 384