The words ‘cover letter’ often strike nothing but fear and trepidation into the hearts of job applicants. A part of the application process where candidates are expected to explain and demonstrate why they believe they would be an ideal candidate; cover letters can be an incredibly daunting part of the job application process. In order to help you navigate the complex and precarious world of cover letters, we’ve put together a guide together full of tips and tricks to ensure you craft the perfect cover letter every time.
When to Send a Cover Letter
9 times out of 10 a cover letter will be a mandatory part of the application process and thus will be marked up as required within the job description. However in some occasions, the cover letter may optional. Although it can be tempting to bypass this part of the process when it’s not a physical requirement, it is still always worthwhile sending one regardless. Not only will this allow you to add more depth and detail to your application but this will allow you to stand out against other applicants. By proving yourself ready to go the extra mile you’re demonstrating your passion for the job and showing you’re a ready and able candidate.
What Tone Should a Cover Letter Have
One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cover letter is ‘What tone should my letter be written in?’. In truth there is no right or wrong answer to this question as this very much depends on the job role and the employer themselves. The important thing here is to do your research and set the tone of your cover letter accordingly. If you’re applying for a position as a manager of a luxurious and regimented five star hotel, it may be best to keep a professional and eloquent tone, however if you’re applying for an entertainment position within a bubbling and outgoing environment, it may be better to present a more relaxed and personal voice.
How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?
In general it’s recommended that a cover letter be around ¾ of a side of A4 paper, being no shorter than half a page and no longer than a page. When writing your covering letter it’s important to find the balance between keeping it simple and concise while also going into enough detail to effectively communicate your points. Striking the balance can be hard but setting ¾ of a page as a guideline should give you a good base to go off.
What to Include Within a Cover Letter?
Figuring out what to include within a cover letter can be daunting and disheartening to say the least, with many job searchers simply feeling as if they are repeating their CV in a different format. Many people question the need for a cover letter as well as a CV, believing that the two are merely duplicates of each other. However the point of a cover letter is not to regurgitate the same material in your CV but to expand upon it. Due to the limited space within a CV, there is very little room for you to go into detail on your achievements and skills. A cover letter provides you with the platform in which to do this. Utilise your cover letter effectively to complement your CV, providing reasons and examples as to why you are the ideal candidate, explaining why you want the job and what makes you the best fit. A cover letter provides you with the perfect opportunity to let yourself shine through. While a CV is a structured profile, a cover letter allows you to be more personable and convey a part of yourself effectively through communication. By doing your research and tailoring your chosen skills to match the job’s profile, you can showcase yourself in the most favourable light possible.
What to Exclude From a Cover Letter?
Although it’s important to make a cover letter personal and to allow your personality to shine through, it is also crucial to not take this to the extreme. Although injecting some personality can make a bland letter turn into an outstanding application, there is a limit to just how personal the letter should be. Remember that this is ultimately an extension of a CV and the employer does not need to know about irrelevant details of your life or where you go on holiday etc. Strike a balance between adding a personal touch, while also keeping it relevant and formal.
Employers receive hundreds of responses to their job postings, especially within the ever expanding hospitality industry. Utilise a cover letter effectively as a tool to showcase your skill set, your experiences and your personality.
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