A cover letter is an essential part of any job application. It's surprising therefore how few jobseekers actually send one off with their CV.
Your cover letter is an excellent way of introducing yourself to a prospective employer, of capturing their attention by showing your interest and suitability for the role and of getting that all important first interview.
Your cover letter should be treated as a sales pitch, to sell YOU.
Essential Rules to follow for a good cover letter
- Keep it short and to the point. Offline cover letters should not exceed one single page of A4. *On hairandbeautyjobs.com there is an empty box when you apply for a job which is where you would type your cover letter
- Tailor your cover letter specifically for the job vacancy you're applying for
- Do not regurgitate the contents of your CV. Your cover letter is there to prompt interest and be read in conjunction with your CV
- Ensure the cover letter is positive, Focus on what you have to offer rather on what you don't have!
- Check your cover letter for punctuation and spelling before sending
If you struggle writing letters then structure your cover letter to include the following elements and you can't fail to impress.
Opening paragraph -
Goal - making a good impression from the start
- If you know the name of the recruiter make sure you address your cover letter for their attention.This makes for a more personal approach. If you don't know the name of the recruiter then mark it for the attention of the recruitment manager
- Be clear about where you saw the vacancy i.e. hairandbeautyjobs.com, the position you are applying for and what you are looking for.
12 May 2008
Dear Mrs Streatham,
I saw your vacancy for a full time senior therapist on hairandbeautyjobs.com and would very much like to be considered for the role. I have been searching for a position in a medi spa environment and feel that my advanced skills will be of great benefit to your organisation.
Middle paragraph (s)-
Goal - Making yourself desirable to the employer
- Explain why you're interested in the employer. Do a little background research on the internet. The recruiter will be impressed you've taken the time to learn more about them
- Pull out the key skills, knowledge and experience that you posess and mention them in your cover letter. Hot tip - To help match your skills, read through the employer's advert and write their key requirements. You aim is to match these and show how you can benefit the recruiter.
What appeals to me about joining Radons is that you offer your customers the most advanced skin and laser techniques available on the market and are renowned in the industry for providing in addition to treatment, great after care.
With over 10 year's experience as a senior therapist in the industry with a leading brand and 5 year's experience as a dedicated IPL specialist I have the skills and experience you are looking for. I aim to make every customer feel like a million dollars by the time I'm finished with them which is why I won a prize last year for having the highest customer retention levels of any therapist in the company.
Closing paragraph -
Goal - bringing about some positive action!
- Be polite but direct. You want then employer to read your CV and invite you for an interview, so tell them that.
- Mention that you are available for interview and would like to arrange a time where you can further discuss the benefits you can bring to the organisation.
- Sign off the cover letter in the proper manner; 'Yours sincerely' if you used their personal name, 'Your faithfully' or 'regards' if you did not.
Although my CV provides you with a summary of my working experience and achievements to-date I would appreciate the opportunity to attend an interview with yourself so that I can further demonstrate my abilities. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07986 4075 38. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Remember, many jobseekers don't bother sending off a cover letter with their application so make sure you stand out as being amongst those that do. It might make the deciding factor on whether you are invited to attend interview.