I’m currently working my way through a bar of galaxy, hoping that my waist won’t expand yet again. Christmas has made me feel a bit fat so I’m trying to counteract it by going to the gym at the weekend. Do you care? Probably not? Anyway, I’ve decided to jazz things up very slightly on my blog and add a careers tab which will have tips, stories and articles about the mind boggling world that is jobs. Whether you’ve got any questions or just want to know how to make your CV look killer good then these posts are your go to. I’m excited about writing them so without further ado here’s your first one…
I feel like I spend most of my life applying for jobs, writing cover letters, covering emails and attending interviews. It seems to be a never ending cycle of rejections or short term contracts, people who don’t want to take a chance on someone of my age with what they deem to be not enough experience. It’s ridiculously unfair because you feel like you’ve been shot down without even being given a chance for them to get to know you which is why I’ve made this list. This is a list of things to hopefully help others out there who are struggling to secure their dream role.
- Be clear about what you want
Lots of guides I have read on writing cover letters tell you to be precise but I think it’s especially important to be clear about what you want to get out of the role. Maybe it’s good leadership skills or experience working in a team. If you show the employer you have thought about your place within the company and researched the role then you’ve probably already ticked off questions they might fire at you. Be clear about what sort of role you are looking for and tie this in with your strengths. (This is good for prospective cover letters and ones for an advertised role.) It also looks impressive if you can relate this back to the job you are applying for. For example, ‘I’m looking for a marketing assistant role as I took on a similar role at… Some of my main duties included…which gave me skills in… (list those in the job description.)
2. List a few roles you have taken on not just one
It’s important to show you have taken on several roles (especially if you were doing two jobs at once!) Talk about the skills you have picked up from each role and show your commitment and passion for each one. Employers have to read tons of cover letters so by making it interesting, they’re more likely to not skim read it. Talk about what you are currently doing first as this will indicate to the employer how easily you will adapt to the role. If it’s not relevant to what you are applying for, don’t write too much; a couple of lines is enough. Then talk about a role which is closely matched to what you are applying for. Put in the most detail here.
3. Big yourself up but don’t lie
If you have done something particularly well then show this in your cover letter. Provide an example of what the work was and what pride you took in your performance. It looks good if it was something you had to do independently. Leadership examples are also good and voluntary experience. Don’t exaggerate too much as employers won’t like this and just won’t read it. Be professional, factual but determined in your approach.
4. Research the company
Nothing impresses an employer more than evidence that you’ve researched their company, if you can slip this into your cover letter; even better. For example, you could talk about brands you have worked with before which would stand you in good stead for this role as you know they work with…
Or talk about their ethos and why you like it (don’t go overboard though!) Any valuable piece of information you can gain from looking at their website is a bonus and means you won’t be grilled so much at the interview stage.
What tips do you have for writing a cover letter?