Twitter Facebook Vimeo

Writing the perfect cover letter

1 min, 47 sec read
12:45 PM | 27 June 2014
by Jim Compton-hall
   •       •    Read later
Want your writing featured?

Did you know that an employer might only glance at your cover letter for a couple of seconds and, if it’s not up to scratch, they’ll move on.

This is why it’s so important to get your cover letter right. Follow these steps to get ahead of the game with your cover letter.

Stay away from anything generic or cliché

I’m a passionate person who can work well individually or as part of a team.

STOP. If your cover letter sounds anything like this then you’re disqualifying yourself from every job you apply to. Every employer we speak to hates this kind of thing and will actively ignore you if they see it.

Know who you’re writing to and personalise your letter

Figure out what the employer is like and write something that they enjoy. Check out their LinkedIn, website, blog, Twitter, etc. Try to get a feel for the actual person and then write the same way you would talk to them. Remember, they’re looking to hire someone they will get on with.

Re-write each letter (don’t send the same thing to everyone)

Sometimes you might be able to get away with using a template email. But that’s really only if it doesn’t sound, in anyway, like a template.

If an employer suspects you’ve just sent them the same letter or email that you sent someone else than they’ll make the assumption that you don’t really care about working for them in particular.

Make sure you inject some personality into your letter

Once you’ve been hired, an employer has to spend a lot of time with you. Often years. Therefore they’re only going to bother looking for people who they think they will enjoy working with. A cover letter without personality makes you seem incredibly dull and boring.

Adding your personality to a cover letter is also great because it helps you weed out the companies that you wouldn’t want to work for. If an employer rejects you because of your personality, it probably means that you wouldn’t be happy there anyway.

Please log in or sign up before participating in the conversation.

More stories

  1. Interview tips you need to know

    A step-by-step guide for first-time interviewees, or regular job hunters who need to sharpen their interview skills.

  2. Big and bold: Graphic designer creates CV with a twist

    This graphic designer's reinvented CV and portfolio will make you rethink your own.

  3. Donut trickery lands guy 10 job interviews

    Lukas Yla set out to bag his dream tech job a little differently to how most of us would do it by sending tech giants a box of donuts.

  4. Five quick job application tips to remember

    Abed Lame, a sixth form college student at St. Charles, writes about his five top tips for students looking to get on the job ladder or looking to apply for apprenticeships.

  5. When I’m A Dad

    Tom Anders, an ex advertising student from the University of Lincoln won himself a D&AD Black Pencil in 2015, thanks to his heart warming entry 'When I'm A Dad'.

  6. 5 tips to help you cope with finding a placement

    Matt Adams, an advertising student at Bournemouth University, shares his top tips for people looking for work placements.

×