I don’t think it is fair to say that a cover letter can get you a job on its own, however, it can definitely get you an interview. If after the interview process it is between to very closely matched candidates, the recruiter may refer back to the cover letters and that could sway their decision.
A cover letter is a great tool to highlight what you can’t fit into your CV, so make the most the opportunity to showcase your talents and don’t waste it.
What is the recruiter looking for
You as a candidate need to identify what a recruiter is looking for in a candidate, a job spec should be able to tell you this along with a quick look at the company website. Your cover letter should then highlight what you have done in your career and the benefit you would be to the company.
Highlight why you have chosen their company
We all know the situation when we meet somebody for the first time and all they do is talk about themselves, well don’t fall into that same trap. Explaining why you have chosen a particular company will give you a chance to highlight the research you have done on the company. It can help give you an advantage over other candidates by allowing you to explain why your skills and competencies are a close fit for what the company is looking for.
Personalise your cover letter
Sometimes a personal touch on a cover letter can make you stand out from the crowd, for example, “After living in Australia for 3 years I am really looking forward to moving home and working in a full-time job”. This can show recruiters the human side to your CV and it can also indicate to them that a person is serious about finding a good job and they are willing to work hard.
Make the recruiter want to keep reading
Your key objective is to capture the recruiter’s imagination so that they want to keep reading. A good idea is to highlight something that you have done such as “I increased turnover in our department by 15% in my first two months”, immediately you will have captured the recruiter’s imagination and the first thing they are going to want to know is how you did this.
The whole purpose of a cover letter is to get you an interview and if you can get the recruiter’s attention and they are willing to meet you, then you have succeeded in your task.
This post is written by the staff of: Skillda Careers – a leading careers website providing you with tips and advice to ensure your success in the jobs market.