Posted February 21, 2017 | Technology Industry | No Comments »

Writing Your Cover Letter – The Essentials

Following on from our blog, How to Woo a Recruiter With Your CV, we thought it was only fair to share our best advice on how to write your cover letter, we’ve even made it into a handy infographic too – take a look below. Combined, these two aspects of the job process can be make or break for candidates. If you have a great CV but can’t back it up with a genuine and well-written cover letter, it could really affect your chances of being considered as a good candidate.

Some people have questioned the need for cover letters in today’s fast paced recruitment world; with online portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, social recruiting and even video cover letters having a place within the recruitment market. However, in our opinion, there will never be anything that can replace the value of a great cover letter.

Our Director at Enigma People, David Mains, is a big supporter of a good cover letter: “A cover letter gives me more of an idea what a person is like than their CV, so I think they’re very important”

Very often, a job advert will still specify that an application should include a cover letter and the failure to do so doesn’t reflect well on attention to detail, something which will most likely be claimed in the CV.

Cover letters are essential. They convey a candidate’s understanding of the role, show that they have the skills and experience needed for the role and most of all – they give an insight into their personality. These aspects can be difficult to put across in just your CV alone, making the cover letter a vital part of your job application.

So, how do you really craft a good cover letter?

1. Keep it Short and to the Point

Make sure it’s no longer than one page. Your aim is to show the reader that you are a good candidate for the job. This is when they’ll pick up your CV, so make sure that it’s up to date and reads well too.

2. Make it Relevant

Use key words from the job description. Be specific. What stands out is demonstrating that you’ve read the job description by making reference to it and how well it suits your skills.  If the advert mentions motivation, then give an example to show you’re motivated. Don’t waste space writing about your attention to detail if they haven’t asked about it.

3. Show Your Personality

Getting across your personality is important, it’s a factor that the majority of recruiters will consider when making a placement. Think about life experiences or personal qualities which could set you apart as a great candidate for the job.

4. Read Other Cover Letters.

You might spot good ways to express something or an idea of what format to use. It’s always good to look at other examples to get a feel for how they should be written. PLEASE make sure they’re from reputable sites such as My World of Work, otherwise you could end up taking advice from bad examples!

5. Appropriate Contact Details

Always ensure your contact details are appropriate. It’s a business document – so use a professional email address!

6. Accurate Contact Details

The number of people who put down old mobile numbers, or explain after you’ve reached them that they don’t check that email address is quite astounding!. If you don’t use it, it shouldn’t be on your cover letter. It’s also useful if people let us know whether they can access that phone or email address during the day – be as helpful as you can to an employer trying to contact you.

7. Proofread.

As with your CV, proofreading is 100% important. Check for spelling errors, grammatical errors, and capitals where they DON’T BELONG. We have had cover letters written entirely in capitals…why would anybody give you a job when it seems like you’re shouting at them? Once you’ve checked your cover letter, double-check it to make sure you didn’t miss anything first time around.

Now you know what to include in your cover letter, take a look at My World of Work’s tutorial: How to Lay Out Your Cover Letter.

We hope to receive the perfect combination from you; a great CV and a cover letter that’s even better. Send it to hello@enigmapeople.com , we might just have the perfect role waiting for you…

Cover Letter Infographic

 


 

Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland.

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