During a recent discussion with a number of HR Professionals the question was raised as to the relevancy of cover letters in today’s age of technology.
Overall, the consensus was that in the majority of situations, a well written cover letter is a must. On the flipside however, it was clear that a poorly written cover letter will likely to do more damage to your application than good.
If you are entering the workforce a well written cover letter can provide a great insight into why you want the job. It can be used to link skills you have gained through your education to the position you are applying for and gives you an opportunity to take the focus away solely from your grades. In my years of recruitment experience I have often found inexperienced applicants are often more capable of doing jobs that their CV on its own doesn’t make obvious.
A good cover letter must be:
- Addressed specifically to the person you wish to read it. “Dear Sir/Madam”, or “to whom it may concern” has no place in any cover letter.
- Accurate. Check and re-check spelling and grammar – there is no surer way of your application hitting the bin than it containing spelling and grammatical errors
- Authentic. It should accurately reflect who you are as a person.
- Relevant. Cover letters are not generic – they need to be adjusted for each and every job
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to write the type of cover letter I describe, but it’s worth putting the time in to (or seeking help with) writing a good cover letter each and every time. With practice you will get better, and combined with a well written CV, you will increase the likelihood of receiving an invitation to interview.
Author: Lyndal Clark
Lyndal Clark is a highly knowledgeable and approachable Career Coach at My Coach, and is well known for her ability to relate to and interact effectively with young adults. With significant experience in HR, Recruiting, Training and Employment Coaching, Lyndal is extremely successful in helping young adults transition into employment.
My Coach provides expert coaching in all areas of employment including creating compelling cover letters and stand-out CV’s and provides tailored 1:1 interview training and support. For further information: www.mycoach.net.nz, www.facebook.com/CoachLyndal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.