So yesterday I busted my ass off writing a few covering letters for some work experience that I’d like to do at some point in the near future and, not to be big-headed or anything, I was pretty damn impressed with myself! I googled a few tips and tricks beforehand before combining everything that I’d learnt into a few, good covering letters. I didn’t find it hard at all to translate what I learnt into my own covering letter so I thought that I’d share my own tips and what I learned about writing a covering letter here on my blog so that you could apply them to your covering letter the same way that I did!
1. Tell a story
Don’t make up some fictional land with your own characters, obviously. Tell a quick, interesting story that relates to the job you’re applying for. It could be about experience you’ve had in that field before, or about what got you interested in that career. Don’t waffle on or speak about something that could make you look bad to the employer, like the time you went on holiday and got so drunk that you missed your flight home the next day. It’ll make you stand out and let the employer get to know you and how suitable you are for the job.
2. Show an interest in the company you’re applying to
Briefly mention why you want to be a part of that company. Are you applying to work for a magazine that you’ve always loved? Say how you’ve always bought the magazine and admired a certain feature in it. Applying to work in a store that you religiously buy all of your clothes from? Speak about how you’ve been buying their clothes for as long as you can remember and tell them why you love their clothes and brand as opposed to any other. This will also show that you have some background knowledge in the place you’re applying to which looks impressive to the employer.
3. Don’t just talk about all of your skills that are already listed on your CV
Don’t repeat anything that’s on your CV at all. If you’ve mentioned something very, very briefly on your CV, you can expand on that in your covering letter if it’s relevant to the job. For example, my CV says that I have this blog but doesn’t elaborate anymore about it so if I wanted to apply for a job or work experience to do with journalism, fashion or beauty I could talk about my blog in my covering letter because it showcases an interest that I already have in those area.
4. Make your covering letter stand out. Literally.
Don’t just have a boring old Word document with a bold title and a few paragraphs underneath it. Make your covering letter look professional, sleek and presentable. I downloaded Adobe Illustrator to design both my CV and my covering letters, and it makes all of the difference. Employers will be more attracted to your covering letter because it’s more aesthetically pleasing than others. If you can’t design your own then plenty of people design covering letter or CV templates that they sell on Etsy, so try that. They’re inexpensive and they’ll do you a world of good in the long run.
5. Show and tell the employer what you have to offer
Instead of saying how the job will help you, focus more on how you can help the company. Speak about what you can and will do to benefit the company and even get creative and show them with some examples if needs be. If you’re applying for a job in graphic design why don’t you showcase your skills by adding some cool, relevant illustrations to your covering letter. Don’t turn your covering letter into a scrapbook full of photos, pictures or illustrations though. Keep it minimal and concise. If you don’t want to add picture examples or if picture examples wouldn’t be suitable, speak about some of your experiences and ideas to show what you can bring to the table.
Those are my top five tips for making your cover letter stand out amongst the rest, I hope they’ve helped some of you!