Writing a cover letter can be difficult, especially when you’ve never written one before. Figuring out what to include and how to structure your letter is the first hurdle to getting your dream job. So to give you a helping hand, we’ve whipped up this blog to assist you on your journey.
What is a Cover Letter?
Cover letters are the most underrated part of the application process. Mainly because most of us aren’t even 100% sure what they’re actually for... so what is a cover letter?
A cover letter acts as your front cover to your CV & application. A couple of paragraphs that provide further detail on how your skill set aligns with the role.
What your cover letter should do:
Compliment your CV;
Create a great first impression;
Tell a story;
Cover letter don’ts:
Your letter should never be longer than your CV;
No longer than 1 page;
Have no structure;
Be written with no passion or personality – no hiring manager wants to read a monotone bland cover letter; they want to know what makes you tick! Sell yourself!
Before you dive into writing your cover letter, there are a few steps you should take to ensure it’s the best version it can be.
Firstly, make sure you have time - Don’t rush it. You may be thinking the sooner you get your application in, the better, but if it’s rushed, you might forget essential components, and you’re more likely to make mistakes.
Consider what person they’re looking for to fill this role. Check out the job spec and company values to find out who their unicorn candidate would be, then note a few examples you could provide to show you reflect them.
Take a deep breath and don’t stress. You can only do your best, so write with passion and don’t forget to let your personality shine through.
Header and Introduction
Include your contact details and hyperlinks
Add a brief introduction and explain which role you're applying for and why
Who are you?
Add a little bit of personality! Can you include an anecdote on how you got into the industry?
Tell us what you're currently up to and what you're achieving! Don't forget to consider the skills they're asking for in the job spec.
Why do you want to work for this particular company? Do they have an amazing culture? Is there a specific campaign you love that they've worked on? Are their clients some of your favourite brands? Let us know!
Don't forget to do your research on them for this section!
Why should they hire you over the other applicants?
Add a few examples of why you're the perfect fit - use the job description and company website to match your skills and values.
Add in some of your impressive achievements, both inside and outside the workplace!
After Writing Going back over your work is just as important as prepping beforehand. So once you’ve finished your letter and feel happy, you should:
Make sure to go back and check for spelling and grammar mistakes. As we said before, a cover letter acts as a front cover to your application, and although you’re told not to judge a book by its cover in day-to-day life... in recruitment, it’s different - hiring managers will be going through it with a fine-tooth comb!
Read it back, make sure it all flows nicely and makes sense.
Put yourself in the hiring managers shoes; what does this cover letter say about you? Do the anecdotes you’ve told represent you as your best self? Do they reflect the job description and their company values?
Finally, just like before, take a deep breath, double-check it again if you need to and send your application.