Your cover letter is a massive part of landing an interview for the job you have your eye on. A lot of my clients have expressed their frustration that they have sent up to “thirty applications and still no bites!” The truth, now more than ever, is that you need to get aggressive with your job-hunt. Be sure to employ every tip and trick to land that prized position. Below is a curation of my personal do’s and don’ts when it comes to your Cover Letter.
Follow a winning structure
The general structure I prefer to stick to is to a quick taster of who you are, then your cognitive capability, what kind of person you are, your interpersonal skills, and lastly your leadership ability. Thereafter, match what you are able to do for the company, and how you are able to fulfil the desired role.
Your USP (Unique Selling Point)
Do you want to know what your magic power is? There is no one on earth just like you! So use that. What unique hard and soft skills can you offer the organisation? What special capabilities do you have, which was earned through your UNIQUE work experience?
Dodge the Bots
Before a human will look at your application, it will likely pass through talent management software – otherwise known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Make sure you use the SAME keywords that are in the Job Description in your Cover Letter (and CV). *hint* These keywords will be listed as competencies, usually identified as what is critical and desired to the job role.
Is an explanation needed here?
Research the organisation
This won’t only be beneficial when drafting that Cover Letter, but for the interview too. Demonstrating that you’ve put in some effort to understand the organisation’s values, mission and strategic objectives will always leave a positive impression.
Read it out loud
Or even better, get someone else to read your Cover Letter out to you. If you don’t have a human in your vicinity, Microsoft Word has a read-back function.
Don’t Repeat your CV
Don’t use the Cover Letter as an opportunity to now repeat bulleted points into paragraphs. Use your Cover Letter as an opportunity to talk about the rich expertise you gained from your last position, as opposed to the tasks. Use this as an opportunity to be a story-teller.
Don’t have errors
Your spelling and grammar needs to be impeccable. Enough said.
Don’t make excuses
Whether your application is because you lost your job due to lock-down, or you’ve just gotten divorced, or tough economic times has forced you to seek work. As heartless as this sounds, business is not empathic at the moment. They are facing their own stresses, and are focused on finding the right candidate for their role.
Don’t use a template
If you don’t differentiate yourself from the rest, you’ll disappear into the masses of applications.
Don’t go over one page
If absolutely necessary, then rather change your font size. But try and keep it succinct and to the point.
Don’t give up
The 2020 Corona virus has had a ripple effect on every facet of our lives. Finding work now is going to be challenging – but not impossible. Your grit and tenacity will be stretched.
Don’t. Give. Up!
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