Your cover letter is your opportunity to attract and engage your prospective employer. This is your chance to stand out from the other candidates and express why you are the best candidate for the role. You must tell a story that will entice and intrigue the advertiser so that they will consider you worthy of an interview.
The ideal cover letter is no more than one page long. Your resume and/or application will contain your formal statistics and data and your cover letter does not need to repeat these points. Your perfectly written cover letter will be a summary of your skills in relation to the advertised role, in particular the key competencies that the employer is looking for.
Use your cover letter to highlight your achievements, most particularly those that are relevant and appropriate to this role. You may like to dedicate one or two paragraphs to illustrating how you have performed successfully in a similar role, showing your understanding of the employer’s needs and how your skill set meets these needs.
Bring your personality into your cover letter (find examples here), ensuring of course that you adhere to the rules of professionalism and respect. A friendly and approachable candidate who is clearly well liked by their peers and colleagues is always an attractive proposition for a recruiter.
Read through the job description several times, highlighting key areas where you meet the precise criteria. Work these points into your cover letter, summarizing previous achievements in relation to these requirements. Potential employers would always like to believe that their applicants have the relevant experience and qualities to more than accommodate the specifications of the vacancy.
A highly effective cover letter showcases your skills, talents and abilities in such a way that enables the recruiter to visualize you in the role and perform it successfully, Draw upon your previous experiences, and perhaps add a sentence or two about skills you possess that may not have been requested in the position description but which you believe will enhance or add value to your application. This will help to ensure that you stand out from other candidates; the prospect of a candidate bringing an extra skill to the role or company is a bonus for an employer.
Align your professional values with those of the employer. Research the company, including their mission statement, core beliefs and ethics. If you are able to demonstrate to the recruiter that these are attributes that you yourself uphold this can have a very positive impact on your chances of success. Demonstrate knowledge of the company values throughout the body of your letter.
Finally, ensure that your cover letter is proofread, that it addresses the key requirements the advertiser is seeking, contains your contact information and availability date, and showcases your skills and competencies in a manner relative to the role. Make certain that you have allowed your personality to show in your text and that the letter is professional and appropriate. Sign off in a respectful and professional manner.