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How to Write a Cover Letter – 11 Tips To Get You Noticed

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How to Write a Cover Letter – 11 Tips To Get You Noticed

No one enjoys writing cover letters. They add even more stress to an already gruelling application process. If you’ve ever written a cover letter, you’ve probably wondered if recruiters actually read them – or if they go straight into the bin. Cover letters can often be what clinches your job application and gets you through to the interview stage.

A cover letter is a formal note added to your CV, setting out your career goals and interest in the position. While your CV provides an overview of your career and skills, your cover letter is more personal. It explains what motivates you and offers a fuller picture of who you are beyond your career. One survey found that 83% of respondents indicated a cover letter plays an important role in their hiring decisions.

Not every job application will call for a cover letter. The recruitment industry is divided over the role of cover letters, with some recruiters preferring them, while others focus strictly on the CV. However, cover letters are one aspect of the application process where it’s easy to edge out the competition. When a candidate does a cover letter well, it significantly improves their chances of getting an interview, but most candidates fail to exploit this opportunity.

At CV Experts, we’re here to help you create interview-winning cover letters and CVs. Our ‘job hunter’ package includes everything you’ll need for your application, from a professionally written CV to an attention-grabbing cover letter. Our professional writers are sharing their tips on how to write a cover letter that gets you noticed.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a short formal note written directly to the hiring manager or recruiter reading your application. You only have seven seconds to make an interview-winning first impression. Your cover letter is an opportunity to show off your personality and stand out amongst the competition.

While your CV offers a high-level snapshot of your career experience, your cover letter should focus on who you are and what you want to achieve in your career. It’s an opportunity to spotlight your skills, personal growth, and motivations to the hiring manager.

Not every application will require a cover letter, and you will be able to tell from the job advertisement. At CV Experts, our professional team of writers work with candidates throughout every industry to curate CVs and cover letters that leave a lasting impression. Our ATS-compliant CVs and cover letters have helped hundreds of clients unlock their potential.

We’re sharing our top tips on how to write a cover letter that will get you noticed.

  1. Understand why you’re writing a cover letter

Before you sit down to stare at a blank document, you need to understand the purpose of a cover letter. It’s an opportunity to tell the hiring manager about more than just your work history. Employers are increasingly looking for ‘soft skills’ and well-rounded candidates who have critical thinking skills and can hit the ground running. Your cover letter can show potential employers that you’ll fit into their company culture.

  • Add a first-paragraph hook

Have you ever opened the first page of a book and been instantly pulled in? That’s a hook. It grabs your attention right away and has you wanting to find out more. The first paragraph of your cover letter serves the same purpose. Focus on your unique selling point (USP) and hook in the hiring manager by showing what you can bring to their organisation.

  • Don’t rehash your CV

One of the most common mistakes people make with their cover letters is rehashing their CVs. These two documents serve different purposes and should not be summaries of each other. After all, your CV is on the next page. Your cover letter is valuable real estate and a rare opportunity to talk about your experience and skills outside your work history.  Your CV and cover letter should complement each other but not be the same information reformatted.

  • Do your research. Avoid ‘whom it may concern’.

Before writing your cover letter, research the company. Your cover letter should be tailored to each of the companies you’re applying to, even more than your CV. Go onto the company’s website and get a feel for its values and ethos by researching its mission statement and marketing material.

Check out its social media profiles and LinkedIn to see what issues they’re discussing or promoting. It’ll give you a feel for where the company currently is and its plans for the future. You can tailor your cover letter to show where you could fit into these future plans.

During your research, try to find the hiring manager’s name. It’s more personal to address your cover letter directly to them, rather than using ‘whom it may concern’. Double-check the job advertisement to see if their name is included there.

  • Use CV Experts

Do you want to write an attention-grabbing cover letter? Use CV Experts. We’ll help you take the next step in your career with a bespoke cover letter that’s curated by professional writers with a proven track record of getting clients to the interview stage.

Have you got a last-minute job application? You can have the first draft of your personalised, quality-checked cover letter within just 48 hours with CV Experts. You’ll also get unlimited revisions, so our writers will work with you until we create the perfect interview-winning cover letter. Order your professionally-written cover letter from CV Experts today.

  • Focus on your value and the future

Your cover letter is an opportunity to highlight the value you can bring to a company. During your research, identify potential problem areas for the company and set yourself up as a solution. You want to portray yourself as an adaptable person and a quick learner.

While your CV is a chance to reflect on your experience, your cover letter is where you should be focusing on the future. Use your cover letter as a bridge between your career so far and where you want to go with your next steps. 18% of candidates include projects and side hustles that show their additional skills and experience beyond their professional careers.

  • Prove your experience, don’t just talk about it

Give your cover letter more authority by asserting your experience with examples. Most recruiters will ignore self-assessments that are full of superlatives and little substance. Use your cover letter to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the role with information to support your claims.

  • Be mindful of tone

Your cover letter is an opportunity to talk about yourself, but tone is crucial. You want to stay authentic without overdoing it with egotism. Your tone should be mature and professional throughout. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and read through your cover letter, asking if the tone is the same one they would use with one of the company’s customers or clients.

  • One page max

It’s easy to get carried away with your cover letter, especially once you get into the zone. The ideal length for a cover letter is under one page. Most recruiters don’t have the time to sit and read through several pages of applications. Keep your cover letter concise.

  1. Ask someone to proofread

By the time you finish your cover letter, you probably don’t want to look at it again. That’s how typos, grammatical errors, and incorrect information fall through the cracks. Get a second set of eyes on your work to spot any mistakes.

It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback – and be specific on what sort of feedback you want. Ask a friend or colleague to read your cover letter and see if they can summarise your main points.

  1. Address anything unusual in your cover letter

Your cover letter is an opportunity to add context to your CV. If you’re returning from a career break or changing industries, your cover letter is where you should explain your reasons why.

Alternatively, you can add context to why you’re applying for a job in a different geographical area or a position you may seem overqualified for. Without this context, recruiters are likely to send your application straight to the rejection pile.

Get an Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter with CV Experts

Take the next step in your career with CV Experts and our professional cover letter writing service. We offer the fastest turnaround time with competitive pricing and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our CVs and cover letters. Our team of professional writers have unique insights into the recruitment process and have worked with hundreds of candidates to secure their dream jobs.

You’ll work with a dedicated writer on your CV and cover letter who will be matched with you to suit your background and requirements. They’ll work with you until you’re 100% happy with your application with unlimited revisions. Check out our reviews from former clients who have used our professional writers to create attention-grabbing cover letters.

Are you ready to take the next step up the career ladder? Our ‘job hunter’ package is just £105 and includes a professionally written cover letter and CV. Order your package today for your fully customised cover letter.

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