Pure Resume

Four must-read tips before starting your cover letter

Cover letter writing tipsBernadette MullinsComment

1.  Don’t forget the subject line

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When you’re sending your application through via email the subject line is your first point of contact with either the hiring department or the person directly responsible for filling the position. Get noticed immediately – in a sea of applications a subject line like 'Results Driven Project Manager' will stand out from the crowd against those that simply say ‘Job application’ or ‘Project Manager’.

 

2.  Don’t be a stranger

When you apply for that new dream job your cover letter may not always be read alongside your full resume or CV so you need to make sure it has all the information an employer needs to get in touch with you. Make sure you include your full address somewhere on the page including your web address if you have a website that is relevant to the job and will help the person in charge of hiring know more about you.

Give your new employers multiple contact points – include your LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media connections so they can get in touch easily. When you include links to your social media profiles make sure the content on those sites is suitable for future employers – you may find that your LinkedIn and G+ profiles are great to include on your cover letter but your Facebook or Twitter are best left off.

 

3.  Grab their attention by using their name

Get off on the right foot with the person in charge of interviewing and hiring by beginning your cover letter with something more personal than ‘To whom it may concern’.

Your cover letter is a conversation between yourself the recruiter (even if it is from a distance) and beginning it with their name will start that conversation on a much more personal level. It will also show that you have taken the time to find out more about the position, the person responsible for filling it and the company you will be working for.

Locate the hiring managers name by:

+  Looking in the job ad for the contact person.

+  Calling the company for more information. Speak to the Human Resources department for the company or the department that has the position vacancy and ask who is handling the applications for the role.

+  Check out their website – you can often find names and numbers for the individuals in Human Resources or the name of the manager of the department that is filling the role.

+  If it is a Seek application and it has been lodged via a recruitment agent try searching other job sites to see if there are listings for the same job, this time with a contact attached.

 

4. You’re painting a picture of you – make it a masterpiece

As you are writing your cover letter remember that it is a snapshot, not only of who you are, but of how well you do what you do. Make sure the page they are reading doesn’t just give an impression of who you are as a person but also shows you in the best light from a professional point of view.

For instance:

+  If you are a graphic designer make sure it is beautifully formatted.

+  If you are a copywriter make sure your grammar is perfect and you have spell checked the document thoroughly.

+  If you are a Manager applying for a position try to use positive, action words that leave an impression of strength and leadership.

+  If you are in a position that relies on deliverables and KPIs when talking about your suitability for the role try to use real quantifiable examples in your cover letter like ‘I achieved a 23% increase in online advertising sales for the company over three months.”

+  If you work in customer service or hospitality consider your tone of voice in the letter – show the person reviewing the applications that you will be approachable to customers by expressing yourself in a way that is professional but friendly and enthusiastic.