Writing a GREAT Cover Letter!
with Paul O’Dea – ATC Work Smart Recruitment Consultant
I can’t tell you how many times I receive cover letters that let job applicants down. Some are so obviously the generic cover letter the applicant sends with every single application, that sometimes the applicant will even forget to put the correct job title or company name in the letter – which does not make the recipient feel very special!
Apart from the obvious of making sure grammar and spelling are correct (obvious and VERY important) why not take the time to make your cover letter more than mediocre?
If the job advertisement tells you who to send your application to, be sure to use the correct greeting – “Dear Paul”, rather than “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. If the job advertisement does not help with the detail, go to the company website. You can even call the company and ask to whom you should address your letter…….this also shows your resourcefulness.
Be sure to read the description of the role very carefully and spend some time relating your skills and experiences to the points listed specifically as requirements for the role. Proving you meet the top requirements for the role will hold the employers attention. Mention any awards you have won, or an outstanding piece of work you were responsible for.
Rather than saying, “I am a team player”, or “I am a people person” be descriptive. For example “I am an excellent communicator with experience providing administrative services to diverse departments”. Follow that up with an example, something like “For example when assisting on the largest tender our company had submitted I coordinated the meetings between departments to ensure consistency in all channels of communication throughout”. Your cover letter will serve as the first example of your skills – make the most of the opportunity.
Do Not Repeat
Do not simply repeat the information in your resume. The cover letter should complement your resume, mention your high points and together with your resume paint a fuller picture of you. Your cover letter can have a more personal tone than your resume which should be matter-of-fact.
And your cover letter should not be longer than one page – showcase yourself, using as few words as possible. Finally, use language which is true to you, be authentic.