When looking for a job, you generally need to make countless applications before getting a response that does not begin with “We regret to inform you..”. On top of all of the work that goes into making job applications, there are the cover letters that need to accompany almost every application. Data shows that 53% of employers prefer candidates that submit cover letters.Now you may probably be tempted to write a generic cover letter and send that through with every application you make, however this is one of the common job application mistakes that recruiters will most certainly notice. To find out how to avoid this and save time, the following steps will allow you to write a tailor-made cover letter in 15 minutes for any job description and company.
Paragraph 1: (2 minutes)
State the job position that you are applying for. Include the “what’ you are professionally together with the “who” you are in terms of your strengths and personal attributes that make you the ideal candidate for the role.
Paragraph 2: (5 minutes)
Cross reference the core competencies required for the job (in the job description) to the “Achievements” section of resume. This will demonstrate how you directly fit the job requirements. This part of the cover letter will show the skills achievements that prove that you are able to perform the role.
Paragraph 3: (5 minutes)
Include 3 facts about the company and department and why they appeal to you. Mention how you will add value to the organisation and enhance the performance of the company as a whole.
Paragraph 4: (3 minutes)
Thank the recruiter for taking their time and considering you for the application. Mention that you have attached you resume and hope to hear from them soon. End the cover letter by signing off, adding your name and contact details, as well as your LinkedIn URL (provided that your profile is up to date).
Take Home Points and Other tips:
Limit the cover letter to 1 page and approximately 400 words. Personalise each cover letter by naming the recruiter or hiring manager. This is a little way to show that you made an effort to tailor the cover letter to the job. In addition, you may add the company name and department name accompanied with any other facts that you may have to show that you have done some research on the company that you are applying to. Know that cover letters are NOT redundant and they do get read (especially when requested). So take the time to write one that is tailor-made for each job description…after all it will only take 15 minutes.
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