Cover letters – have you got it covered?

Most jobseekers I work with have heard of a cover letter, but they aren’t really sure what the point of one is! If that’s you, then read on and we’ll try and help.
A covering letter should be fairly short and to the point, but should really show an employer that you have researched the company, know what the job entails and that you are exactly the sort of person the employer is looking for!
Sounds easy?

It goes without saying that your cover letter should be well written and that it doesn’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes. But what should it include?
Make sure you personalise it. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for admin work, cleaning or telephone sales. You have skills in lots of areas that will transfer to different types of work and it’s up to you to match your specific skills to what the employer is looking for.

So for example, let’s say you’ve worked in a mobile phone shop and you see a job for a call centre in a debt recovery company. You know what it’s like to work in customer service, you can work to targets, have great customer service skills, but how can you persuade an employer that you know what is involved in debt recovery?
Firstly, you have to research the company website The website will more than likely have an “about you” section. This is where you can find out lots of relevant information on the company and what they do.

The job advert is another great way to provide a good match for the company.

debt recover advert

Look at each bullet point and think about what is involved in dealing with someone who has a debt issue. Include some examples of the work you have done before, if you can, make some notes as you go along.

How to start your letter:
• Explain what job you are applying for and where you found the vacancy.

“I am applying for the position of………………… as seen on ………………..”

Next – Why are the best candidate for the job?
• Briefly describe how the skills and qualifications you already have match the skills the employer needs. Use the advert or the job description.

“I have excellent skills in negotiation and can keep calm in difficult situations”

Third paragraph – What can you do for the company?
• Use examples of your strengths and how they can work well within the company

“In my previous company I was involved in monitoring the service we delivered to our customers by asking for feedback and analysing the results.”

Fourth paragraph – Show them why you want the job!
• This is where you state again why you are interested in the job

“I am confident that I have the right mixture of skills and experience to contribute to the team. I am extremely proficient at working under pressure and maintain excellent customer service at the same time.”

Signing off
• End on a positive note and don’t forget to thank your employer for their time

“Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.”

Yours sincerely – if you know the name of the hiring manager
Yours faithfully- if you don’t know the name of the hiring manager

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