If you thought it was optional to include cover letters with your job application, think again!
Today, more than ever, a letter that creates interest in your CV is central to the success of your job application.
On this page you'll find all the links you need to write attention-grabbing applications and put yourself first in line for an interview. Just make sure your phone is on!
Read on to find out:
Because no-one knows who you are. Sad. But true.
Luckily your letter of application will change that.
You see, at the moment you're a bit like the people in this picture.
Before your letter is read you look a bit like, well...everbody else. You need a way to introduce yourself that gets you noticed. Your covering letter makes you stand out in a crowd.
200 years ago you needed a letter of introduction from someone who could vouch for you if you were interested in working for them.
Today the same principle applies. You still need a letter of introduction that gives the reader some idea of
your skills and who you are. The difference is that you will write it yourself, and provide references in your resume or CV.
A job application letter allows you to introduce yourself to the reader and interest them enough so they want to find out more about you. Ideally, your letter creates the interest and moves the reader naturally to your resume to get more information.
A covering letter gives them a sense of your personality while telling them about the position you're interested in, and exactly how you are qualified for that position.
Ironically you are not selling yourself at all, but rather an idea, or a concept, of what you can add to their business.
Remember, your goal is to be invited to an interview. Your job application letter helps the employer see the benefits of hiring you and leaves them wanting to find out more about you.
A job application letter should be sent with your CV or resume whenever you respond to any job advertisement. Adverts like these literally invite you to send off your resume and covering letter.
There are plenty of other situations when you'll need to write cover letters.
Perhaps you're being proactive and 'cold calling' company's to help them realise how badly they need you.
If this is not for you, then perhaps a friend or business colleague has told you about a job that sounds just like you!
Or, you're changing careers and need to convince someone that you are right for the job.
In all these situations your covering letter is an essential part of your application.
Resumes and covering letters go together. They should never be apart. It's like watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon. It doesn't work if you take away one of the parts. Only when they're together can they perform.
The good thing is that a letter of application is not difficult to write. In fact, there's a basic formula you can follow to write them.
Best of all cover letters do not need to be very long. You'll need to write three or four short paragraphs that easily fit onto one page.
But it's very important to carefully use those paragraphs to your advantage. You've got very limited space to make the best sales pitch of your life.
So while there are plenty of examples of covering letters on the internet make sure that yours is original. It must be perfectly crafted to send to one particular employer addressing one specific job.
Let's have a look at the basic construction of a cover letter and then move on to some powerful strategies to get your letter working for you.
Writing your letter of application is not difficult but it does need time and careful thought.
I recommend that you focus on this four paragraph style so that your letter isn't too long (you really don't want to bore the reader).
Pay attention to the way you end your letter. Make sure you end your letter with 'Yours Sincerely' and know why 'Yours Faithfully' is less powerful.
If you plan to send your application by email make sure it is received and can be viewed as you intended.