Cover Letter Advice
Cover Letter Writing
Before you have a chance to meet the hiring manager, you need to make an impact on a more personal basis through your cover letter.
Cover Letters are the real first-impression; they're a great opportunity to inject some personality, offering insight into your motivational drivers and wider aspirations, which gives the employer a better understanding of how you would positively sit within their team.
Quick note: if an employer doesn’t require a cover letter, please check out our CV writing advice, for how you can turn your CV into a cover letter, and tailor it to suit the specific role that you’re applying for.
Let’s get on with some tips, shall we?
Here, we’ll share our top tips to help you stand out from the rest, and get to that next stage.
To understand how to make your personal attributes suit the organisation’s long-term goals and values, you first have to attempt understand them yourself! Tailoring your cover letter, to ensure you sound like the perfect cultural fit to a specific organisation, will give you the edge that’ll set you aside from any potential competition.
To do this, make sure you’ve had a good look over the organisation’s website, LinkedIn and other social media channels. In this social-media era that we’re living through, we all have the tools needed to be private detectives at our fingertips, and could quite easily discover the hobbies of potential future colleagues. Use this to your advantage, to discover any potential shared interests and greatly improve rapport building, before even meeting the client.
If an organisation has also mentioned big internal, structural changes, and how they’re needing ‘all hands on deck’, be sure to highlight how organised and self-motivated you are. It’s simple stuff, but it’s super effective!
Remember, this isn’t an essay, and a robot won’t be marking you out of 100 for this writing - this is an opportunity for the hiring manager to gain insight into the person that they will likely be spending a lot of time with for a good chunk of time.
What does your ideal colleague sound like: competent? Easy to chat to? Dare I say it, someone that you might also chose to hang out with outside of a work setting?!
Good punctuation is still strongly recommended, but try to also incorporate a tone that sounds like you, that is also enthusiastic about the role; not only does it make you sound less like a robot and more like a human, but it’s also a lot more fun for the hiring manager to read.
If the hiring manager enjoys reading your covering letter, they’ll likely invest more of their attention into your application, which would then increase your chances of making it to the interview stage. Make sure you leave a lasting impression.
Again, this is not an essay! Ideally, your entire cover letter should fit comfortably within 1 page, which is more than enough space to accurately sell yourself.
To help you structure your cover letter, we recommend your starting paragraph outline ‘why’ you’re applying for the position.
In the main body, you should highlight ‘how’ your previous experience, expertise and values suit the role at their organisation, ‘what’ you aim to achieve and ‘when’ you would aim to achieve this by.
To make you cover letter more personal, you could also include a short paragraph about ‘where’ you like to go in your spare time, including some of your hobbies (keep it professional though, we all like an all-day brunch, but remember you’re selling yourself!).
Your final paragraph should summarise everything you’ve just told them quite nicely. You could also reiterate some contact details for yourself, and outline your usual availability - because with a cover letter like this, you’d for sure be invited to interview!
More helpful advice
Take a look through our helpful tips
Here you'll find a list of helpful articles, relating to all areas of your job-search journey.