Why are cover letters important?
Going beyond the CV a cover letter is your chance to send a snap shot of not only your personality but your skills as a writer, negotiator and sales person. They demonstrate that you understand the job role and have thought about how your skills can translate into that role.
Before entering the world of recruitment I did not think very highly of cover letters. I believed them to be time consuming and fruitless. Sending tailor made cover letters with no response can be severely demotivating as I found.
Now I understand the importance of a cover letter and how useful they can be to employers and recruiters.
Point two in the article "Don't summarize your resume" I believe this to be the most important point. Your potential employer is going to read your CV after your cover letter, summarising what your CV states is time wasting and unnecessary.
Point five, "Get the tone right", making sure it reads how you would talk in a professional manner. Make sure your personality really gets across naturally.
After hours writing I finally took the initiative to make a template cover letter, highlighting key areas and skill I wished to demonstrate.
Using this template I still was able to personalise my cover letter to the desired company in the most time efficient way possible.
1. Use a strong opener People usually apply for jobs with a stock phrase like “I’m writing to apply for x job that I saw in y place.” That’s pretty dull and isn’t going to grab anyone’s attention. Instead, start the cover letter with a specific fact about yourself that you think they need know. For example, you could say “Hi, I’m a marketing and copywriting guru with 15 years of experience running strategic campaigns for small businesses.” Right away, they get to learn something about you and are intrigued.