The cover letter is a vital tool for influencing an employer’s decision on who should get an interview or not. It’s also the one part of an application before an interview where a little slice of personality and enthusiasm can break through the rigid structure of the CV. That’s why it’s imperative that it’s powerful, impactful, and that it leaves an impression. Writing a good cover letter should rank as highly as writing a good CV, so take a look at these tips to find out more about how an average cover letter can be turned into the ultimate cover letter.
The letter is not designed to act as a platform to tell employers all about a person’s life up until that point. It’s something that’s designed to act as a formal introduction. The CV is essentially just a list of skills, goals, and work experience. A letter of this nature is a view into who the person is professionally. A general rule of thumb is that if the length of the text eclipses a whole page, including margins, then it’s too long. Employers are busy people and they will simply dump a lengthy application in the bin. Interviews are the time to start revealing more.
Beauty is Not the Key
Some people believe that being presented with a beautiful page of flowery fonts and personal pictures is something that an employer would love to see. It’s not. Surprisingly, thousands of people make this basic mistake every year. If they knew what an employer really thought about these things then they would avoid them like the plague.
Flowery fonts are difficult to read at a glance. If the reader can’t just skim through it then they are not going to bother at all. It’s not a right to have an application read. Hard-to-read fonts will only find their way into the bin.
Pictures are a definite way to get an application rejected. Employers can get in trouble if they base their decisions on what a person looks like. Job applicants that have been accepted with an application that had their picture on it have came under fire before, and then subsequently the company has as well, because accusations of discrimination based on personal appearance have been thrown around. Organisations just simply won’t take the risk anymore. More importantly, they are simply not relevant and they just don’t care.
Handwritten cover letters are hard to read and they look unprofessional as they are often out of alignment or there’s smudges present. Don’t take the risk of being labelled as an unprofessional person or there’s no chance of getting a job.
Don’t be afraid to use a template. Templates are there for a reason and are a great way to demonstrate professionalism with something that’s been tried and tested. They are less time-consuming than creating one from scratch and they do communicate the impression that an applicant knows what they are doing and are efficient in what they do.