Not every job application requires a cover letter. In fact, many argue that the cover letter is a dying part of the application process.
However, for the most part, you will be required to submit a cover letter with your application and tailor it to the role you’re applying for. Not only does this give you a chance to expand on the skills and experiences noted in your CV, it also offers the opportunity to detail why you’re suitable for that particular position. Read on to discover five simple way to tailor your cover letter to the role.
1. Do your research
In order to create a stand-out cover letter, you need to make sure it aligns itself with the organisation you want to work for and the industry you want to enter. Researching these elements will make your cover letter up to date and relevant, and the employer will see you’re a cutting edge professional that will bring value to the organisation.
2. Consider the audience
Generally speaking, the job description should include the name of the recruiter handling the vacancy, so you will know who to address your cover letter to. If there is no name given, don’t fret; it’s easy to find out.
Personalisation shows you’re serious about the role and that you conduct yourself professionally, so addressing your cover letter ‘To whom it may concern’ should be a last resort. If you don’t know the name of the recruiter, just call or email the employer, explain you’re interested in applying for a position, and would like to find out whom to address the cover letter to.
Once you know their name, address the letter as follows:
- If it’s a man: Dear Mr Smith
- If it’s a woman whose marital status you know: Dear Miss/Mrs Smith
- If it’s a woman whose marital status you don’t know: Dear Ms Smith
Then, sign off the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’.
If you really don’t know the recruiter’s name, start your cover letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ and sign off with ‘Yours faithfully’.
3. Consider key skills the employer is looking for
Crafting a cover letter that’s brimming with your skills and experiences is great, but it’s not so useful if they’re not all relevant to the role you’re applying for. Potential employers don’t want to know how you can fill a general vacancy; they want to know why you’re the best person for the role they’re trying to fill.
Make sure the skills you pen are relevant to the role at hand. Don’t write off experiences that don’t directly relate to the vacancy though; often there are transferable skills you can carry over. Just make sure you detail your experience in relation to the key skills the employer is looking for to prove you’re a great match for the position.
4. Comment on industry trends
Commenting on current industry trends is a great way to show you’re in the know and impress the employer. Try researching online for an official industry publication or skim through the opinions of industry experts in respected newspapers.
It’s also worth Googling the organisation you’re applying to, to see if it’s been in the news recently. You’re certain to gain some brownie points if you comment on its recent achievements or accolades.
5. Consider the company’s vision
In order to make yourself appear as if you belong, you need to learn about the organisation’s vision.
- Why does it exist?
- What is its vision?
- Who are its key competitors?
- What about its key clients?
Include snippets of your knowledge throughout your cover letter to show you’re a great match for the role. For example, if you were applying for a job at CV-Library, you might say that you’re ‘keen to join CV-Library after learning that it is the UK’s leading independent job site’.
If anything, this research is great prep for the interview!
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to tailor your cover letter to the role you’re interested in. Just remember to do your research, demonstrate the ways you match the role, and align yourself with the organisation’s vision, and you’ll do just great.