Employers expect personalised cover letters that show them why you are a candidate worth taking the time to interview. But many jobseekers still make the mistake of sending a one-size-fits-all introduction.
Personalising a template letter is a quicker and easier than starting one from scratch each time, and you'll make a much better impression than if you simply say “Please see my enclosed CV”.
Here are our top tips for making personalisation count.
Each time you apply for a job, open your template cover letter document and create a new version.
Be sure to save this with a new filename so you have a copy of each cover letter you send to employers.
Personalise the letter using the relevant hiring manager or recruitment consultant’s name. Your best bet for finding out who this is would be LinkedIn or Google, or getting directly in touch with the company that is recruiting.
Keep it concise
Your cover letter needs to be no more than four or five short paragraphs. If you can’t say what you want to in that space then you haven’t thought about it.
Don’t highlight things that are irrelevant to the position just because they are in your cover letter template!
Show that you’ve done your research on the company. Write two good, concise paragraphs on why you’d like to work there and why you would be a good fit for the role.
Be sure to highlight how your skills, experiences and achievements relate to the essential requirements of the job.
Add key phrases from the job description that apply to your experience – always being truthful.
Keywords and phrases are important. Don’t make the hiring manager guess when trying to match your experience to their criteria: be specific.
Now that you’ve presented yourself as a great candidate, let the employer know in the last paragraph that you’re eager to learn more about the position.
In addition to thanking the recipient for their time, sign off with an individual touch by stating what your next steps will be, such as a follow-up email.