How important is your covering letter? Well, if you take it from a superficial level, it is as important as how you look, so if it’s not pretty, employers will not want to get to know the person behind the facade, even if you do have the right qualifications.
With so much competition out there and hundreds of CVs sent out for one position, the covering letter is your only chance to stand out — not in a ‘who is this crazy freak who is confessing his weird hobbies’ way, but more like, ‘who is this person who sees his work as a way of life?’
Despite the fact that there are hundreds of articles on the web which explain the dos and don’ts of writing a covering letter, many job seekers still fail to get it right as many commit the same mistakes. So how can you create a great covering letter?
Well, primarily, you should not repeat the information your potential employer could very well read from your CV. When people repeat their resume in their covering letter, it’s like they’re saying, ‘the skills and qualifications I have obtained are all there is to me’.
Choose instead to create a story — explain why you chose to work in this field; describe pastimes that led to this career choice or show that this is a way of life for you, not merely a nine to five job to sustain you expensive lifestyle.
This is mind, do remember that the covering letter is not about recounting your life story — go straight to the point and don’t ramble since your potential employer is too busy to read your biography. Also, do delete the following from your vocabulary:
‘To whom it may concern’
Instead, take the time to investigate who the hiring manager is by calling the company, doing some detective work on LinkedIn or asking your recruiting advisor.
What else you ask? Proofread, proofread, proofread — you get the point, and we’ve seen the grammatical mistakes which are eyesores to employers who recoil when they perceive imperfection.
Finally, covering letters are about telling your potential employer why you are the best person for the job not by using bombastic claims but by being truthful, genuine and confident that you have what it takes to bring something of use to the company.