A cover letter is seen as a vital part of any application by recruiters and hiring managers, and presents you with the perfect opportunity to tell potential employers who you are, why they should specifically hire you and how you are the best candidate for the role.
Standing out is now more important than ever considering the job market has become more and more competitive, particularly in the IT sector. You have to use every opportunity you can, and that begins with writing an interesting and articulate cover letter that entices the potential employer to give your CV the attention it deserves.
Knowing the type of company you are applying for allows you to determine how exactly you are going to fit into it, what qualities you will bring to the role, and what past experience you have that is going to be of benefit.
Make sure you tailor your experience to the role you are applying for; the role may need you to be an advanced user of Microsoft Excel, or different software, so tailor your experiences around a time when you used that particular program.
Good research will show how much you want the position and that you are not just sending a generic letter that has already been sent to various other businesses as well. Sentences like, ‘I would love to work for a company that has achieved x, y, or z, in the past’ are easy to put together and can add an element of uniqueness to your application.
Work experience is vital
Many people make the mistake of over focusing on their education. No matter how impressive your grades are do not lose sight of the fact that employers have a greater interest in work experience, volunteer work and what you can deliver when you walk through the door on day one.
Highlight relevant experience
The job description is the perfect place to start with your cover letter – copy and paste the key points into your document and pick out the key words they have used deleting any that you feel are unnecessary. A company may be looking for a certain type of person to fit into the role, so for example highlight instances where you proved you were capable of working within a team, do not just say you are a team player.
Employers love to see numbers and figures so if you have them, make sure you use them. If you helped develop a program that had a certain number of users or one that returned a certain level of investment, make sure it’s well known in your application.
Link back to your CV
Your cover letter should be kept short, with the aim to ensure that the recruiter or hiring manager looks over your CV and pays attention to the detail within it. You can use sentences like ‘As you can see from my attached CV, I started my IT career in a very flexible role’ to entice the employer to find out exactly what position you were in and what you did.
Sign off positively
Make sure the last few lines the employer reads are positive and highlights what ideally you would like to happen next, be it an offer to meet with them further where you can explain how you are an ideal fit for the role in more detail, or to show some examples of the work you have done. Good luck with your search!
Read our related blog: The rise of enterprise mobility management