Your cover letter can be the introduction to you that makes a recruiter’s eyes sparkle with interest or glaze over with indifference. So it’s worth thinking about how you can use it to really stand out and get you and your CV noticed.

The tips you regularly hear for creating cover letters always include ‘don’t cut and paste it’ (either from someone else’s cover letter, yours to another employer or from the job description); ‘watch your grammar and punctuation’ and ‘err on the side of formality’.

Those tips are all completely valid and important, but they won’t make you shine. Here are some to help you sparkle:

– If you have the name of a mutual contact, include it in the first paragraph of your cover letter. It shows you have a relationship to the employer and automatically sets you apart.

1. Try to use your cover letter to showcase your personality. The recruiter needs to get a true sense of who you are. Yes, you need to explain why you think you’re right for the job and what you can bring, but you shouldn’t be copying it straight out of your CV.

2. Demonstrate your passion and knowledge of the industry. Maybe including a cool historical fact or the event or person that got you interested in the industry in the first place.

3. If you can relate your desire for the job to an anecdote or story then do it. It shouldn’t be long-winded though. In fact, your whole cover letter should be three paragraphs/half a page or less.

4. Summarise how your experience will help you do the job and always finish by saying how and when you’ll get in touch.

When you’ve written it, read your cover letter as the recruiter. Does it interest you? Does it make you want to speak to the person that sent it? Does it make you smile?

Remember hiring managers and recruiters are people, not automatons. They do need facts, but they also need to know the person behind the facts.

Reference: Forbes; Abintegro
23 Nov 2016
applications

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