My favourite part of a job application is the cover letter. The cover letter is the window into the personality of the applicant. They get to express themselves and show off their written skills in ways that a traditional resume doesn’t allow.
Last week I shared my tips for writing a great resume. This week, here are my tips on writing a stand out cover letter.
1. Address the selection criteria!
The easiest way to stand out among other applicants is to actually apply for the job that you are applying for! Sounds simple, but if I had a dollar for every job application I have read that didn’t even address the job description … you get the picture.
If you aren’t bothered to write a cover letter that is specifically for the job, why should the employer give you their time in an interview? The job description and selection criteria are the employer’s way of telling you what they want. Here is your opportunity to tell them why you are the person they are looking for and what you have to offer. Don’t pass up that opportunity!
2. Keep it succinct
As with your resume, stick to the point. If your cover letter is too long the reader may get bored and zone out. You don’t need to repeat everything that is in your resume, although it may be a good idea to highlight key things, particularly those that relate to the job ad or selection criteria.
3. Proof read
In addition to spelling and grammar, check that your letter is addressed to the correct person and references the correct job and company. Again, you’d be surprised how many applications I have received that have referred to an entirely different position and firm.
4. Show some personality
This is a big one for me. As a small business, one of the most important things I look for when hiring new staff is their cultural fit. Our team is the most important part of the business and we want staff who are going to add to the team dynamic. Don’t be afraid to show your personality in your cover letter. A sense of humour is always welcome.
Where does motherhood fit in your personal brand (Ep03)
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