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 Victoria Griffiths from the Haverhill 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 Bridie James 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 Abigail Webb 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 Daniel Waters from the Ipswich office. “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 pay cheque. That way, you’ll give the recruiter a reason to follow up 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 Abigail Webb from the Witham office. “No one trusts abstract assertions of another person’s quality. But they will be persuaded by hard facts.”
Published: 4 September 2019
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|Salary:||£10.00 - £11.00 per hour|
Just Recruitment is recruiting for a goods in and despatch person with some QC experience on behalf of a company based in Colchester.
You will be responsible for booking in and booking out all deliveries for the company. Competent skills in use of computers and Excel is essential for this position.
To assist the two Production Managers with the coordination and control of all goods in and out process, for all departments. Excellent communication between departments is necessary.
|Sector:||Engineering and Manufacturing
|Salary:||£18,000 - £20,000 per annum|
Just Recruitment is looking for a Machine Operator/Assembler for a client based on the outskirts of Sudbury.
The role will involve the following skills:
In addition, candidates should be:
Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm
20 days plus bank holidays
Standard gov pension scheme.
Just Recruitment is delighted to be representing a company based on the outskirts of Colchester, they are looking for a new member of the sales team.
Are you a driven sales person looking for a new business role?
Would you like to self manage your day, drive your own leads and develop new business?
Would you like to work in a role where you have autonomy?
The package offered includes a basic salary and commission, this is uncapped and the average sales person is earning in excess of £40k.
As well as a good financial package you will have 20 days holiday plus bank holidays, staff benefits, an excellent working environment and the opportunity to progress.
You will also have a fully expensed company car!
Your normal working hours will be Monday to Friday 9 - 5:30 but this role does require some travel and 1 night away away from home (Thursday night - fully expensed and meals included)
You must possess the following skills and attributes:
This is an excellent opportunity to build a successful career, its all about you!
Please note that due to the nature of the role and travel required you must have a full clean driving licence and be prepared to stay away from home 1 night a week (Thursday).
|Sector:||Accountancy, Banking and Finance
|Salary:||£19,000 - £23,000 per annum|
|Location:||Norfolk – Norwich
Our client, a leading independent accountancy firm are looking to recruit a Payroll Administrator to join their practice in Norfolk
This role may be suitable for you if you have previously been involved in the preparation of payrolls (ideally within a bureau environment) and if you have a keen interest in further developing your skills and becoming part of a busy payroll bureau.
The available position is working within the Business and Private Team in the payroll bureau, assisting with the processing of client payrolls which vary in frequency (weekly, monthly, 2/4 weekly) and in size (1 to 100+ employees).
You will have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the payroll function and will have the potential to progress with increased responsibility for clients. We are looking for a candidate with good communication skills, who enjoys working as part of a team, has the ability to organise their workload and an appetite for learning and development.
Addresses, discusses and advances conclusion in respect of technical and audit issues identified during the course of the audit
Controls the audit in relation to timescales, budgets and risk managements procedures
Provides feedback through regular communication and timely assignment appraisal
To be conserved for the role you will have: