So you’ve found the perfect job and you’re desperate to land an interview. Your resume’s looking fresh and clean, and now you’ve got to nail the cover letter. How do you do this when everyone’s thinking the same thing?
One of the important things to note about cover letters is that the head of recruitment, or the manager, or the agent – whoever it is that has been tasked with finding the perfect candidate for the role – will be going through a bunch of cover letters as well as resumes, so your message needs to be short, sharp and convincing.
And the ‘message’ part of that is important. You don’t just want to run through the tasks they’ve described in the job role and talk about where you’ve done that before – you’ll be doing that in the interview anyway!
You want to convey a story to the reader about who you are, and why you’re a perfect fit for their company (and that job in particular).
Yes, it’s still important to talk about things they’ve mentioned in the description – you need to show that it’s tailored – but equally you need to separate yourself from the bunch and not bore them with the ‘same old’.
Think of your working life as a story, and you as the author. The recruiter is the reader and they need a strong intro, an interesting climax and a fantastic finish. What is it that makes you worth employing? Why are you going to add to their business from a staffing point of view? What strengths do you have and where did they come from? But all of this needs to be in less than a page – and preferably in half a page!
When they finish reading your cover letter, they’ll be straight on the phone inviting you in to tell them the sequel.