Creating your Cover Letter – Pursuit’s Top Tips

cover letter

As part of our commitment to our candidates, we like to provide useful career advice and top tips to aid their search for a new job.

This week we are focusing on the importance of Cover Letters and how to write one.  You may not know this, but if written well, a cover letter can make or break an interview decision. Think of it as your ‘First Impression’.

Whilst your CV highlights all your experience (work and education), your cover letter highlights your suitability for a SPECIFIC role. And this is key. Therefore, your cover letter should be tailored to each individual application you make. Whether you are applying for a role directly – or through an agency, it can highlight your key skills for a particular role and why you are suitable for the position.

We have highlighted our Top Tips for creating a successful cover letter below to help you get the most out of applying for your next role.

Format – Keep it professional

Unless you are applying for a creative position, keep the format of your cover letter professional. Be mindful of consistency and ensure that you write clearly and concisely.

Also, we would recommend writing your cover letter in Word using an appropriate font such as Arial or Calibri – size 11. Use paragraphs and punctuation, as well as ensuring you have spelt everything correctly and used the right Grammar. After all, remember your covering letter is your chance to create a strong first impression.

Whilst some may be drawn to using fancy or coloured paper, it can be seen as being unprofessional. Because of this, we would recommend using a crisp white paper of good quality and ensure that if you are printing it your ink is not running low.

Sign off the letter with Yours Sincerely or Kind Regards.

If you are sending it via email, we would recommend sending it as a PDF to ensure that the formatting will stay as you intend it to be – no matter how it is opened.

Who to address it to…

On most job adverts, you will have the contact details for the hiring manager. If you are unsure as to who this is, we would recommend addressing it “For the attention of the hiring manager”.

If you are applying for a role advertised via a recruitment agency, if you are unsure who the consultant for the role is, we would recommend addressing it “for the attention of the consultant recruiting for the position XXXXX (ref:   ).

Content – Keep it relevant and to the point

A cover letter gives you the opportunity to highlight your key skills for the role and why you would be suitable for the position. Whilst you need to cover the important requirements, we would advise to include no more than 3-5 key skills. Keeping the cover letter consise will ensure you get your experience across effeciently.

When you introduce yourself, keep this brief. After all they will have your CV for a full insite into who you are and what experience you have.

If you have a job specification, we advise that you match your skills with the requirements for the role. If you have specialised skills the organisation is looking for now is the time to shout about them!

We would recommend that your cover letter should be no more than 1 side of A4.

Demonstrate your Interest in a position

This is where your research comes into play! You can tailor your cover letter to show the organisation you are recruiting for that you are interested in not just working for anyone – but working for them!

For example, if you are applying for a role at Pursuit, you might write something like; “After researching Pursuit in more detail, I am really keen to work for an established recruitment agency where I can develop my experience and learn from experts – for example Lorraine’s 30+ years within the industry.”

If you would like some advise on how to research a company, please take a look at our recent blog here.

Applying to a Recruitment Agency without a Specific role in mind

As a recruitment agency we welcome candidates to register with us even when we may not have a suitable live role for them at this point in time.

We proactively seek out roles for our candidates who have strong skillsets that our clients and local employers are looking for. By providing a cover letter when applying to an agency you are able to highlight these skills and show your commitment to finding a new role because you have covered all basis.

When writing a cover letter to an agency it is important to not only highlight your key skills but the type of employment you are looking for (temporary or permanent / full time of part-time). We would also recommend highlighting your preferred position and or industry. Ensure you include details such as your availability to interview as well as details of your notice period. Further more, including your desired salary can also help us identify suitable positions for you.

We would advise to keep it very concise and would recommend using bullet points to highlight all the key areas you wish to highlight to recruitment consultants and resourcers.

Always ensure your contact details are clearly displayed and correct! Including your LinkedIn details can also be advantageous. If you would like to find Pursuit on LinkedIn please click here.

Ask someone to Proof Read it!

If possible, we would always recommend a second pair of eyes to read through both your cover letter and your CV. Check for grammar and spelling errors and ensure that you use the correct punctuation.

That concludes our advice and tips on creating a cover letter that will get you noticed. As an agency we are very open to offering help and advice to our candidates. If you would like us to review and offer advise on your cover letter or CV please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, read our blog on Top Tips for writing your CV here.

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interview success

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