A decent cover letter can make all the difference when trying to get noticed by would-be employers. Here’s our guide to getting it right
By Sophie Cole
It’s tricky to get yourself noticed when hunting for a job, but an expertly crafted cover letter can make all the difference. It helps you stand out from the crowd, meaning your CV gets a thorough reading and you end up ahead of the pack.
|Go in too strong and you’ll seem desperate or immodest. Play your achievements down, however, and you’ll not achieve the cut-through you seek.|
But what exactly is the mysterious cover letter? And how do you write one that secures your dream job?
A cover letter is a one-page document in which you explain why you’re the best candidate for the job. It highlights your specific skills, achievements or experience and persuades the person reading to give your CV careful consideration.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But it can be tricky to get your cover letter right. Go in too strong and you’ll seem desperate or immodest. Play your achievements down, however, and you’ll not achieve the cut-through you seek.
Fortunately, Just Recruitment’s consultants have decades of experience to draw on. They’ve waded their way through a lot of cover letters in their time. So we asked them for tips on how to get your cover letter just right. Here’s what they had to say.
Make it personal. “Always address the letter to someone, rather than just the company,” says Bridie James from the Witham office. “Doing so shows that you’ve taken time to find out more about your prospective employer. It’s an indication that you really care about the role.”
Show a bit of personality. “Despite what you were taught at school, you don’t need to be formal throughout,” says Kelly Lewis from the Sudbury office. “Well-judged humour or spark can help you stand out, showing something of your character. Don’t go overboard, and certainly don’t risk any smutty jokes. But raise the odd smile and you stand a much better chance of escaping the rejects pile.”
Keep it simple. “You should keep your cover letter to the point,” says Jody Collings from the Witham branch. “Cover letters should never be more than one page and shouldn’t just repeat the information that’s on your CV. Include an introductory paragraph to grab the recruiter’s attention, two or three bullet points highlighting your most notable achievements and a closing paragraph stating clearly why you’re interested in the job. That’ll be just enough to pique the reader’s interest, without bombarding them with unnecessary information.”
Think about the role. “Tailor your cover letter for each application, highlighting skills that are especially relevant to that role,” says Bridie James. “You should also include a specific mention of why you want to work for that company in particular, perhaps by referencing awards it has won or notable achievements from the last few years. Make it seem as though you’re interested in the company for an ideological reason, rather than just your monthly paycheque. That way, you’ll give the recruiter a reason to follow up on your application.”
Show don’t tell. “The cover letter is your Dragon’s Den moment, so provide evidence or examples of your achievements to turn the recruiter’s head,” says Jody Collings. “No one trusts abstract assertions of another person’s quality. But they will be persuaded by hard facts.”
Published: 2 September 2020
© Copyright Just Recruitment 2020
If you are actively seeking for a new job: search here
You may also like to read: What are the most common spelling mistakes on CVs?
Back Up Care is recruiting for a Care Coordinator for their Colchester Office to work on the busy Healthcare desk.
Previous experience in scheduling care and support staff would be preferred and a healthcare background is an advantage. You will be extremely confident and well-presented and be able to use your own initiative.
This position will involve working alongside the Office Manager, supporting them with the day to day running of the desk.
The role will include:
This requires you to work at an extremely fast pace, placing candidates into both temporary and permanent placements to match their qualifications, skills and experience.
There is a large amount of telephone calls liaison with candidates and clients, therefore excellent clear communicational skills are a must and excellent interpersonal skills are essential.
Other essential skills are:
28 days holiday including public holidays, increasing to 33 days after 2-year service.
If you wish to apply for this role, please forward your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sector:||Engineering and Manufacturing
|Salary:||Discussed on application|
Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.
Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:
|Salary:||£22,000 per annum|
Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.
The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.
Key tasks include:
Key requirements for the role:
Previous experience requirements:
Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.
Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.
|Sector:||Engineering and Manufacturing
|Salary:||£8.91 per hour|
Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?
Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday