The Do's and Don'ts of Cover Letter Writing

Cover letter writing tips

Now’s the perfect time to refresh your job search and whip your cover letter into shape!

Your cover letter is the first thing an employer or recruiter will look at when reviewing applications. It can make all the difference between getting an interview or ending up in the dreaded ‘no’ pile. That’s why it’s crucial you follow our do's and don’ts of cover letter writing in order to ensure you put your best foot forward.

 

Do…

1. Keep it relevant

Your cover letter should be viewed as a ‘personal introduction’ and provide information as to why you would be suited to the vacancy. It should also highlight your skills and experience in relation to the job.

2. Keep it short and simple

Make sure that your cover letter is clear and concise, and try to keep it around the 300-500 word mark. There’s no need to talk about all your hobbies, qualifications or skills – only include those that are relevant to the role. Your cover letter should also be formatted correctly, with either bullet points or short paragraphs that can be easily skimmed.

3. Make sure it’s in the correct format

It’s likely that you’ll have to apply for a role via email at some point during your job search. If this is the case then you should send your CV as an attachment and use the body of the email as a cover letter. Make sure the document is also saved in the correct format, so as not to immediately eliminate yourself from the running!

4. Include details regarding the job

Include information on the role that you’re applying for. Be sure to include the job title and relevant information where possible. This is so that the hiring team can ensure that your CV is directed to the correct person.

 

Don’t…

1. Include unnecessary personal data

Don’t include your date of birth, marital status, national insurance number, or any other personal data that is unrelated to your ability to do the job.

2. List all of your work history

While recruiters and employers want to hear about your recent/relevant work experience, there’s no need to list all of your history on your cover letter. We’d recommend you save this for your CV.

3. Reveal your age

Don’t give away your age by mentioning out of date skills or mentioning that you’ve been in the industry for 20+ years.

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