How to write a mind blowing CV cover letter
Have you found that perfect vacancy or want to apply for jobs online? While your CV is extremely important, crafting a mind blowing CV cover letter is equally important. Today we highlight some great tips to keep in mind when crafting your job application cover letter.
Are you looking for an easy, fast, convenient and professional way to apply for jobs and other employment opportunities? Create your online CV on Job Mail and start applying for vacancies that fuel your passion today.
What is a Cover Letter?
So, what is a cover letter? Simply put, a CV cover letter is a letter that accompanies your CV when you apply for a job or vacancy. This cover letter is aimed at giving your employer an idea of who you are, including an overview of your skills and how you are suited to the vacancy you are applying for.
Your cover letter, also sometimes referred to as your job application cover letter, should give your potential employer not only an idea of your skills and experience, pulling them in to read more about your job experience in your CV, but also why you are interested in the position and how you stand out from the hundreds of applications they receive.
Do keep in mind a cover letter that accompanies your CV should be unique to every job you apply for. While some of your skills might be better suited for one position, other job experience and skills will be best suited for other types of vacancies.
4 quick tips on what to avoid in your cover letter
- Don’t use a generic cover letter for all the jobs you apply for. Each application must be accompanied by a unique, targeted cover letter.
- Don’t overdo your cover letter. Avoid rambling and listing your entire CV in your letter. Rather focus on your most important skills that can add to the company’s resources.
- Proofread your letter over and over and over. Spelling and grammar mistakes in your CV cover letter are never good.
- Don’t make your cover letter longer than a page. Keep it short and to the point.
Is your CV up-to-date and ready to go? For some great tips on crafting the perfect CV, be sure to check out the Job Mail CV Tips tag on the Blog.
7 great tips on how to write a cover letter for a CV
Now that we have some quick tips and rules for writing a cover letter, we wanted to highlight 7 tips on how to write a cover letter for a CV. Because your cover letter is your first impression, it is important to get it right, especially when you apply for that dream job.
Remember that you should use your cover letter to sell your CV. Give that potential employer a good reason to take the time to read through your complete CV.
1. The layout of your CV cover letter
You can picture your cover letter in three different parts.
The first part of your cover letter, which will be your first paragraph, should focus on why you are writing the letter and the position you are applying for.
The second section, which will most likely consist of a couple of paragraphs, should focus on why you are interested in the position as well as the company. Remember to do research about the company, making sure that it is a good match for you.
This is also where you have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and work experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Remember to not include your entire CV here, but rather highlights.
Include some information about you, your work experience and relevant facts that make you well suited for the position you are applying for. Be to the point and don’t go into your private life. Keep it professional.
The third and final part of your cover letter will be your closing paragraph. This is your opportunity to thank the potential employer for taking the time to review your CV, adding a professional greeting.
A top tip on how to write a cover letter is to keep it short. Though a cover letter does contain quite a bit of information, it is important to keep it short (no longer than a page) and to the point. If a recruiter or employer is not intrigued and feel that their time can be betters pent instead of reading your letter and CV, you might not be considered.
2. Addressing your cover letter
While it is not always possible, when you apply for jobs online try to address your letter to the person who will be reading it. Double check this information and make sure that your spelling and the company’s details are correct.
3. Wording and the styling of your cover letter
You will need to find a balance between a warm and friendly tone, as well as a professional tone. Don’t use overcomplicated words and clichés. Your writing should be natural and remember to make use of positive words – ‘I have…’ and ‘I can…’ instead of the ‘I don’t have..’ or ‘I have some knowledge’.
Also remember not to start every one of your paragraphs with ‘I’. Rather be smart about the words you use and how you construct sentences. For example, instead of saying ‘I gained experience in marketing at the Employment Company…’ rather opt for ‘While working as a marketing manager at the Employment Company I gained experience…’
TOP TIP: The language and grammar in your job application cover letter can be a signal to a potential employer. Slang, abbreviations and spelling mistakes can not only hint to your written communication skills, but the pride you take in the work you submit and the effort you put in. Never take on an arrogant tone.
Have you landed an interview? Be prepared for anything and everything by reading our “Top interview tips to help you land the job” post on the Job Mail Blog.
4. Plan your cover letter
Start writing your letter, rewriting sentences and paragraphs as you work through it. Chances are that you will have a couple of drafts, but this will allow you to construct the best CV cover letter, seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t be afraid to plan you letter’s layout and the type of information you want to include in certain sections. This is a great way to help you highlight what is important.
Don’t leave the letter for the very last minute. Spend time on it, pouring the same amount of dedication and standard into it as you will your daily tasks and job responsibilities.
5. Where to put your CV cover letter
Nowadays most of us apply for jobs online, which means that everything is digital. The best place to include your cover letter is in the body of your email. You can also of course create a longer cover letter, adding it as an attachment to your email, but do not go into too much detail here. A well written cover letter in the body of an email and a well-crafted CV should be more than enough to make you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
If you are sending an email, ensure that your CV is in PDF format – apart from being professional, this is an easy format and most people will be able to open and read the document.
Want to create a professional CV? Register on Job Mail and create a professional online CV you can use to apply for vacancies online. Don’t forget to read our “10 Do’s and Don’ts for your job applications on Job Mail” on the Job Mail Blog.
6. Stay away from the generic
One great tip we can give on how to write a cover letter is this: Don’t start your cover letter with ‘My name is…’ and ‘I am applying for…’ Make your letter unique and a small part of your personality. This will help you to create a memorable impression.
Come up with something that is fresh, unique and not something a recruiter or potential employer sees with every CV that comes in. Do however keep in mind that professional tone should never take a back seat.
7. Demonstrating your interest in the vacancy
It is easy to go into a ‘begging’ tone when trying to demonstrate your interests when applying for jobs online and even in interviews. Instead try to demonstrate your enthusiasm and what about you makes you a good choice for the company. Motivation and passion for your chosen career is something that can create a positive impression.
Try to demonstrate what in the vacancy stood out to you in your CV cover letter – those one or two lines in the job ad that prompted you to apply.
Now that you know more about how to write a cover letter for a CV, why not get started on your first draft? Remember not to get discouraged. Practice makes perfect and, with a little help, you can go a long way.
When you think you have the perfect cover letter, ask your friends and family to read through it, pointing out any grammar mistakes, typos and places where you can make improvements.
Ready to apply for jobs online? Create your online CV by registering on Job Mail. Once registered you can craft your CV and start applying for great job opportunities in various industries. Don’t forget do download the FREE Job Seekers Guide To Finding A Job In South Africa for more useful tips and advice.