Writing a cover letter can be quite the hassle, especially when you have spent so much time creating an impeccable CV and do not know how to go about selling yourself in a letter. Here are a few tips to help you write that cover letter that will help you truly stand out.
Do not copy and paste your CV
Your cover letter should not be an extended version of your CV. You have already attached your CV so no need to be repetitive. Your cover letter is an expression of your personality and genuine interest in this organization. It is basically your elevator pitch; having researched the company, talk about your capabilities and give concrete reasons as to why you would be the ideal fit.
Customize your skills and experience
You have to make sure that your cover letter is tailored to whatever role you are applying for. You cannot flaunt your accounting skills and work experience while applying for a content writer role. Keep whatever skills and experience you will be talking about in line with the role. The point of this letter is to convince the hiring manager that you have a set of unique skills or experience to offer that makes you the ideal candidate. When in doubt as regards the role and requirements, do your research so you know what you are in for as well as what skill would be relevant for the job.
Please, try to keep your cover letter short but effective. Go straight to the point and avoid irrelevant information that has nothing to do with the role or company you are applying to. 250 words or thereabouts is enough to get your message across. We are not saying that is the word-limit however, it would just be easier for a hiring manager to read your letter when you use less words and ensure all of the information is relevant.
Avoid rambling. Again, you can look up what may or may not be relevant for the role or company you are applying to.
Do not be too formal
This is not your interview, you do not have to be overly formal in your cover letter. Like we already mentioned, your letter should give this organization an insight into your personality and communication skills. No need for the “My name is ** and I wish to express my interest in the **”. Your CV already did most of the formal work for you, now it’s time to add a personal touch. Keep it light but not impolite.
Focus on the skills you do have
It is possible that you do not have all of the skills they require for the role you are applying to. Nevertheless, you should place more focus on what you can bring to the table. Your confidence in your abilities will cover up for your shortcomings so try to shed more light on the skill(s) that will help you excel at their organization. In addition, you should let them know how you think the organization will help you grow and hone these skills.
Do not exaggerate
We would say “do not lie” but since that is a given, we advise that you refrain from embellishing or fluffing up your talents beyond what you can actually handle. Yes, you are trying to sell yourself here but then there’s such a thing as overselling. Your integrity is at stake here which means whatever you skills or experience you may claim to have, you will have to prove at some point. For example, do not say “I handled 70% of so-so project” when you really were just an observer.