Cover letter image blocks on desk

Creating the perfect cover letter

If you are serious about landing the job, a well-written targeted cover letter enables you to highlight your value and explain why you are the ideal applicant. So, if you are wondering whether you should include a cover letter, the short answer is yes !

A cover letter can make an excellent first impression. It's a great way of personalizing your application and reassuring a prospective employer that you are genuinely interested in their position and that you are not randomly applying for jobs without giving them proper thought. Essential in any job market.

When should a cover letter be sent?

While many hiring managers may not request a cover letter, that doesn't mean to say you shouldn't send one. If you are applying online, some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) may not allow you to submit one. If that's the case, don't worry, however do send one:

  • If the employer, hiring manager or recruiter requests one
  • If you are directly applying to a person and you know their name
  • If someone has referred you for the position

How to write a great cover letter?

A great cover letter should provide the hiring manager with an exciting insight of you as a potential employee. It needs to demonstrate your knowledge of, and interest in, the company and should explain why you are interested in the position.

Your cover letter needs to focus on specific content in your CV, which matches you to the position (experience, education, voluntary and extra-curricular work). It should be no longer than one side in length. Before compiling your cover letter, consider the following to ensure your letter is personalised and targeted;  

  • A good reason why you would like to work for the organisation
  • Study the job advert carefully, so you know the skills and attributes that are important
  • Clarify what it is about the role that interests you 

Research plays a crucial part in any job application, and before you begin writing your cover letter, you need to ensure you have done your research correctly.

  • Who will be receiving and reading your letter
  • The company's position in the marketplace and its competitors
  • The industry sector and any recent news, trends and challenges
  • The organisation's aims and intentions for the present year and the future

By building up a good understanding of the company and industry helps you to tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to and shows your passion for the job and the sector.

Novo Resume have a handy beginners guide 'How to write a Cover Letter in 2021' please click here for more information.