Cover letter writing is an art. Here’s how to do it well and win the job.
Cover letter writing is a task that many people approach with great dismay.
You’ve spent hours working on a resume, and now you have to go through and find a more creative and eye-catching way to communicate that information into a tailored letter for a prospective employer.
If you aren’t comfortable with writing, this can be really daunting.
Here are seven top tricks to writing a great cover letter that will get you to the interview stage. Three will help you with writing structure. Four will help you stand out from the rest!
Know who you are writing to
Always add the name of the person who will be reviewing your letter.
If you don’t know, do not (we repeat: do not) write “to whom it may concern”. If you can’t find (after many hours of research) the name of the person who will review the cover letter, then write something like “Dear Project Engineer Hiring Manager”.
Always tailor the greeting to whomever will be reading the cover letter.
What are you applying for
The introduction of your cover letter should immediately mention the role for which you are applying.
Be mindful not to be generic. Highlight the role you are after and what you found interesting about this role. For example:
I wish to apply for the Electrical Engineer position with the global gold producer...
Taking just a small detail from the ad, rather than just copying and pasting the job title, shows that you are paying attention, not just taking an “apply for everything” approach to your applications.
Why are you the perfect candidate
Next is your opportunity to link your “pitch” to the job advert.
You want to highlight succinctly why you would be perfect for the role. This should include what relevant skills and experience you have, as well as how you align to their company culture. Briefly include information about times you have worked with other companies or teams which are similar to theirs.
Be professional without being formal
Gone are the days of “Dear Mr So-and-So, I wish to extend my great interest in position XYZ”.
People want to work with people they relate to, so it’s vital to appear human. Be professional, but also be yourself.
Format for the online world
We no longer write physical letters. This means you often have to contend with incompatible computer programs that threaten to mess up your format. Here’s a simple hack: convert your cover letter to a PDF so that everyone can read it as you intended.
As resumes and cover letters have moved online, recruiters and hiring managers often use keyword searches to scan for keywords that will identify the most relevant applications to review first.
Be mindful of this and add relevant keywords to your cover letter. For example, an application for our Electrical Engineer position could include: electrical engineer, gold, and PLC control system.
If you are new to cover letter writing and aren’t confident enough to do it yourself, get help. The great benefit of working with a mining recruitment agency, like MPi, is that we can take the cover letter writing burden off your shoulders – and help you to land the perfect mining job! We have a dedicated career guidance expert who can help you with everything from cover letters through to interview help and assistance click here for more info
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