No matter how good a CV you have, it is a fairly impersonal way of communicating your experience. In order to increase your chances of your CV actually being read, you need to write a powerful cover letter that will immediately grab the attention of the reader.
The number one purpose of your cover letter is to get your CV read and the only way to do this is deliver a personalised message to a particular employer telling them clearly why they should hire you. Therefore every time you send out your CV, it should be accompanying a customised cover letter.
Here are my 3 steps to a powerful cover letter that will get your CV read:
- Personalise it by addressing a person not a title
You should always address your cover letters to a person rather than writing “Dear Sir/Madam”. If the details about the vacancy do not include the name of a contact person at the company, contact them and ask for the name and title of the person to whom you should send your application. This will also show that you have taken the initiative to find out and are therefore genuinely interested in the job.
- Tell them why they should hire you
Around 90% of applicants will have the required education and will meet with all the criteria for the job which is why you have to communicate clearly what makes you unique; in particular, what value will you bring to the organisation. You can do this by first communicating your interest in the position and the company then demonstrating how your skills will meet the needs of the employer before highlighting what makes you stand out and what you can do for a potential employer i.e. the benefit they will get from hiring you.
- Ask for an interview
Like any good sales person, you need a good close in order to make the sale. This is why you should always end your cover letter by asking for an appointment to discuss your experience and motivation for the position.
If your CV is not getting you interviews, take a long close look at the cover letter you are attaching it to; are you addressing the 3 points above?
© Anne Galloway
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE? You can, as long as you include this information with it:
Anne Galloway is the Careers Consultant for those who want to put the fun and passion back into their working week. Find out how Anne can help you along your path to career success at www.power-to-change.eu