6 do’s and don’ts for your cover letter

6 do’s and don’ts for your cover letter

When writing your cover letter, you should always think of it as a way to compliment your CV. Your CV is there to bring your skills to life with facts and figures, so use your cover letter to show a flicker of your personality.

Weave through your experiences in a coherent manner that demonstrates to the employer why you're the right fit for the role. As long as you adhere to a few do’s and don'ts, which luckily for you we’ve listed below, you have room to be a little more creative.

So take a look at our list to ensure that you’re ready to impress the recruiters.

Do tailor every cover letter to the company

Tailoring your cover letter to a particular job not only shows your specific interest in the company but also demonstrates your potential to be a vital asset.

To do this, you need to research the company and the position you're applying for. This will help you to gain a better insight into what skills and experience are required.

Doing your research and tailoring your cover letter accordingly will not only help to improve your cover letter but will also give you an edge over other applicants.

Do keep it to one page

Before typing away at your keyboard, take a moment to appreciate the high volumes of cover letters and CVs that a recruiter receives on any given day.

So with that in mind, keep it concise and never exceed over one page. Anything longer will most likely prevent the recruiter from pursuing your application. Not to mention that they probably won’t even end up reading it.

Do spell check your cover letter

It's such a deflating moment when you hit send on an application, only to see a sneaky little spelling mistake in your otherwise perfectly written cover letter. So make sure this doesn’t happen!

Proofread and proofread again, before asking a friend or family member to also take a look. Sometimes it's hard to spot your own mistakes, so a second pair of eyes never hurts your chances.

Don't repeat what’s in your CV

Don’t use your cover letter as another opportunity to repeat the contents of your CV. Doing so will only mean that you’re wasting precious space and the company’s time.

Instead, highlight your own story and what makes you unique and back it up with relevant experience. Remember, this is your opportunity to inject a bit of personality into your application.

Don’t copy and paste your cover letter

In a rush to send out as many applications as possible, you might feel the urge to copy and paste your cover letter. Don’t do this.

People can always tell when they receive a generic cover letter that hasn’t even tried to relate their skills and experience to the company requirements. It’s sloppy and unprofessional.

Always provide a unique cover letter tailored to the job application. This will improve your chances of getting shortlisted.

Don’t get too creative

Having an aspect of creativity in your cover letter can definitely be of benefit. For example, if you have a website or portfolio that you’d like to share, you can hyperlink a few keywords in your cover letter to encourage the reader to view your work.

However, don’t go overboard and avoid including any pictures or graphics. The content of your cover letter should be the most interesting part of the document, so including any images could distract the reader and take the attention away from your assets.

The same applies to your font. When in doubt, it's always safer to stick to the basics. Fonts like Arial and Calibri help modernise your cover letter whilst staying professional.

On the other hand, use anything like Comic Sans and you run the risk of putting off the recruiter and prevent your cover letter from being read altogether. 

Final thought

To apply for a role, your cover letter should always be tweaked and tailored to suit the potential position.

Sticking to a few basics and upholding these do’s and don'ts will also ensure that your cover letter is always ready for the recruiter.

CV-Library is currently advertising a range of jobs in Dublin and is one of Ireland’s leading job boards. It also provides helpful career advice to candidates. 

Published 18/06/2018 by a guest author at CV-Library

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