10 Jan Cover letter: our advice on standing out
A personalised letter for each company ?
Of course! It is an absolute must to rework your cover letter for each new application. Impersonal cover letters and sent in a chain are very quickly noticed by the recruiter and that shows a lack of interest and work on the part of the candidate.
Try, wherever possible, to address your letter to a precisely targeted contact. To make a difference, you must successfully demonstrate that the application corresponds to the company: explain what has attracted you to this company and why it has drawn your interest.
To demonstrate this interest, you can break down your cover letter into 3 distinct parts. The first part concerns the company in which you have to demonstrate to the recruiter that you have understood the issues of the company and that you have been well-informed of this.
The second part has to concern your profile. Here you have to demonstrate what you can bring to the company and makes you suitable for the job offer you are applying for.
Finally, the last part is for talking about what you are going to be able to undertake together.
Is a showcase of skills required for the position ?
As well as adapting your letter to each company, you must also make it consistent with the target position. The recruiter will have to find out, in the course of the cover letter, what makes you suitable for the requirements of the position. Therefore, take up each point of the job description, and select from your experience those experiences that are most relevant and suitable for the position for which you are applying.
What format should your cover letter have ?
Your letter must comprise four paragraphs: introduction, why this company, why you and finally, what you find interesting in your work with them.
To make your cover letter easy to read, it will be preferable to leave a blank line between these various elements. Furthermore, your cover letter must not be more than one page, beyond this format you will lose the attention of the recruiter.
In the same way as your curriculum vitae, you must pay attention to spelling mistakes. A single fault may eliminate your application for certain recruiters. Do not forget to check it, and do not hesitate to have your letter checked by a third person.
Actual examples ?
Do not hesitate to support each of your arguments with figures and a specific illustration. This will allow the recruiter to appreciate your suggestions and to convince them as much as possible that you are the ideal person. Do not be content with describing tasks undertaken, but also talk about the objective achieved and what you brought to them.