When applying for a new role there are generally only two things you need to provide and often incorrectly the cover letter comes a distant second. Here is some advice on giving your application an edge.
While this is one of my services and I don’t want to do myself out of a job, I think it is vitally important to let as many people as possible know just how important this document is. Time and time again I received applications with either no cover letter attached or a generic one that may or may not have the correct role at the top but often no reference to the role they were applying for. You would need a pretty spectacular CV to get over the first impression left by a letter like that. These always ended up on the bottom of the pile.
The most important element of a good cover letter is to follow the instructions provided in the advertisement or position description. If they want a response to selection criteria, do that. If they want a two-page cover letter do that. Whatever they ask for, make sure your application meets those requirements.
You also need to convey your interest in the role. Your letter should not only be about how great you are. The employer wants someone who wants to work with them and is passionate about what they do, so simply listing your attributes isn’t going to cut it.
If you are trying to change industry, it is even more important that you are able to draw parallels between your experience and what they are looking for. Talk about how you feel you will be able to use your background to further their objectives and perform the duties they require. Even though you may be able to see how you can add value but to the reader it might not be immediately obvious. You need spell it out.
Think about who you are competing against. There will be other applicants whose experience is comparable or even more suited to the role than yours, so the cover letter is your opportunity to put together a compelling case as to why they should give you an opportunity to present at an interview.
Use real life examples over buzz words and jargon. Evidence of your achievements will be much more effective. Anyone can say what they like about themselves but if you have proof you have been given similar responsibilities and succeeded, it will go a lot further.
If there is something likely to raise questions in your CV, like odd moves or periods out of work, address them in your cover letter. If you ignore them, the reader will come to their own conclusions and chances are their imagination will be more creative than the real facts.
As I said, cover letters are one of our services so I don’t want to give away all our secrets but these tips should be enough to get you a good draft then you can contact us and we can take it from there. Give yourself every chance to get through the paper evaluations and get face to face when you can turn on the real sell.