Cover Letters - integral part of job application process
A cover letter is an integral part of your job application process although there are many schools of thought around a good cover letter.
The truth is, some hiring managers and recruiters will not even look at your letter whereas others will open it first. If they then don’t like what they are reading, they won’t even open your CV.
No matter who you talk to, everyone will have a different opinion on the value of a cover letter so our advice is to always present a strong, professional and targeted letter just in case. We know of many clients who have secured an interview and then their dream role, on the strength of a powerful and ‘different’ cover letter.
If you write your letter well this can solidify your chances in landing the position. If you write poorly, this can ruin everything. It is important to present the best qualities that you have to offer whilst matching those qualities with what is required by the company to which you are applying.
It is essential to present the correct information otherwise you may scare off your potential employer.
Match your skills and attributes to what is required by the company and ask yourself the following questions?
- Have I outlined how I will add value?
- Have I been too modest with regards to my successes?
- Have I made sure the reader will be fully aware of my skills and abilities?
- Have my key achievements reflected the demands of the position?
- Am I able to cover the key points of my cover letter at interview?
- Have I been confident with my wording?
- Have I demonstrated that I believe in myself?
- Have I double-checked my spelling and grammar?
- Have I expressed enough interest and enthusiasm?
- Is it clear what role I am applying for? (particularly relevant when applying through recruitment agencies)
Competency Based Letters
Many government departments and larger organisations require a more structured application process often involving competency based questions.
For these types of applications, it is imperative you provide examples and answer the exact questions they have asked. Be very specific and think of the best practical example in your work experience to date that demonstrates your competency in relation to the question.
The trick here is to always remember the outcome must be positive and the answer relevant. Don’t provide so much detail that the reader forgets what the task was but provide enough to illustrate your strengths, experience and competency level.
Competency based letters are far harder to write so if in doubt, give us a call.
When you resign from your job this can be one of the hardest things to do. Most people wish they could just say goodbye and walk out, however the majority of employers require you to give up to four weeks' notice and they also remember more about your performance in your final days that at any other time.
It is absolutely vital that you word this letter to perfection. If you word it correctly your notice period will be more comfortable and this will assist your chance of receiving an excellent reference from your manager if this is required for future employment.
Who knows, one day you may return to the same company.