This is your only chance at a first impression; some employers will have made their mind up about your suitability after they have read the first one or two paragraphs of your cover letter.
Cover letters introduce your CV, they are there to persuade the reader to continue on and read your CV. They tell the reader why you want the job, why they should interview you, and that you are available. A good cover letter will show you as an excellent candidate.
The CV cover letter should be written in a business format (even if you're sending your CV and cover letter via email.) This means that handwritten notes, unformatted, typed and computer-generated letters are unacceptable. Recommended professional fonts are Arial or Century Gothic.
Your cover letter should be concise and to the point and ideally no more than a few paragraphs.
If you can, address your letter to a person, use ‘Dear Mr Jones’ instead of ‘Dear Mike’ as it would appear too familiar. Telephone and ask the receptionist who the appropriate person is and address the letter to that person by name. If you do not know the name of the contact use ’Dear Sir or Madam’.
Your letter should include the job title along with the reference number as frequently employers are recruiting for a number of jobs.
There are three attention grabbing golden rules to writing a cover letter:
- Remind the recruiter what they're looking for;
You have advertised for a property manager to manage and maintain your portfolio of retail outlets…..
- Tell them you are what they're looking for - how you fit the job description;
As you will see in my attached CV, I have spent …years managing a number of properties for a major retailer and have the ideal experience for this job.
- Tell them why you are the best choice.
I am very confident that I will fit perfectly into your environment and am available for interview and can start straight away.
If you know the person’s name, end your letter ‘Yours sincerely’, if not, end your letter ‘Yours Faithfully’. Always ensure your contact details are on your cover letter as well as on your CV.
If you apply online or enter your email address on your contact details, think about the perception created if you have a humorous email address. Some recruiters may not even interview you for a professional job if you have this.
If you have a humorous email address – change it!
Example Cover Letter
1st Line of address
2nd Line of address
Dear Mr Jones
Property Manager – Reference 1254/AB
I am very interested in your vacancy for a Property Manager Ref: 1254/AB which I saw advertised on/in (enter where you saw the job advertised).
You are looking for someone with previous experience of this within the retail sector whose skills are transferable and are able to make cost savings and improvements.
I have worked for a major retail group for (enter years of experience) and was responsible for making significant cost reductions throughout the supply chain. I believe my skills and experience are easily transferable and I would be the ideal candidate for this role.
I am very interested in this role and am available for interview and can start straight away.
Your contact telephone numbers