10 Tips to Improve Your Cover Letter and Get Your Application Noticed

Cover letters are essential to securing that all-important interview and if yours isn’t up to scratch, you might as well not bother applying at all! Here are ten top tips to get you caught up and ahead of the crowd when it comes to job applications. Check out the great tips below to improve your cover letter and get your application noticed!

Learn How To Write a Proper Letter

It sounds basic. After all, we did a lot of letter writing in primary school, didn’t we? Brush up on your letter writing and formatting skills to ensure your letter looks the part, flows well and has met all the requirements that you would expect of a letter.

Grab Their Attention From The Start

Your first few sentences are key to your success. If you don’t sound special, enthusiastic and excited about the role, they will pick up on this and cast you aside like so many others.

Don’t Drivel On

If you witter on and on about something that is neither relevant nor interesting, your letter will hit the shredder quicker than the time it took you to sign it. Choose only information that is relevant to the role for which you are applying. Keep your information short and do not duplicate what is already on your CV.

Related: 8 Phrases To Avoid When Writing A Cover Letter

Use Big Words

Using more complex vocabulary can make you appear more intelligent and highlight that you are confident, but don’t use any word if you cannot competently use it in a conversation. If an employer has any idea that you aren’t sure what you mean, they could turn your application down, or use the error to embarrass or trip you up at interview.

Why are you different?

You are a responsible, friendly team player. We get it. So is everyone, according to their CV or cover letter. What makes you different? Do you take the lead where others wait for guidance? Are you able to communicate even the most complex idea in a way that everyone can understand? If you have the gift of the gab or a knack for something that makes you a little bit special, throw it out there for all to see!

Look at Online Examples…

Looking at examples that other people have put online can really help you get an idea of what you need to be including. The examples online are often ‘model’ cover letters; they are what an employer would love to see. Taking guidance from them will without doubt benefit your cover letter. Using sentences from examples or just submitting it word for word is not acceptable though. Put some thought into it!

Related: Example Cover Letter Format that Gets you an Interview

Vary Your Cover Letter for Each Application

Using the same cover letter for each job simply doesn’t fit. The things you mention and emphasise will be different for different roles, so don’t be lazy and just have a generic letter that you submit with every CV for every vacancy going.

Big Yourself Up

Nobody is blowing your trumpet, you have to do that yourself. Don’t be too arrogant or ridiculous, but use your words to portray outward confidence and assertiveness. Know your skills and flaunt them. What can you offer the business because of your amazing skills?

Ask For an Interview

That’s why you are writing isn’t it? In your closing paragraph, tell the employer you would be keen to meet them and to attend an interview, which you can do with a few days’ notice. Don’t be shy; it won’t get you far. You may think this sounds too keen, but there is a fine line between enthusiastic and too keen, to be trodden carefully. The worst they can say is ‘No’.

Don’t Send it Anywhere Without Having it Proofread

Sloppy amateur mistakes can cost you the job nowadays. A typo, misspelt name or word, or a phrase that just doesn’t read well can ruin your application. Be as accurate as possible, and have someone else review it for errors. It might even help to use the services of a freelancer, who can edit, repair and spruce up your cover letter, offering feedback if you would like.

Give your cover letter some TLC today. You won’t regret it! It could very well open the doors to the job you want for yourself.

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Scott Howells
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