Tuesday 1 August 2017

Why You Should Never Use A Cover Letter Template

You're applying for a job, you've written a solid CV,  so now it's time to write your cover letter. When applying to several roles it's tempting to use a standard cover letter for a type of role, where you change the company name/job title each time. This is an absolutely terrible idea - employers know when a template has been used, they lack job specific details and are almost always disregarded.

In order to be successful you need to write separate cover letters for each job, boasting your strengths for a specific role, and why their company appeals to you! not just a job. Make sure that you have plannedprepared and have researched a job role and its employer before you start to write anything.

Below is our five step guide on to how to write a noteworthy cover letter, and why templates weaken an application:

1. Write your address and contact information in the top right hand corner!

This is standard, it shows your competent enough to know that if they want to contact you they need your information. While this should also be on your CV anyway don't overlook putting it on your cover letter.

2. Make Sure it is Clear what Role you are Applying for!

Templates using generic phrases like 'I am applying for the role at your company' are red flags. Use the specific job title, and then go on to list why you want the role, and why you are a viable candidate for it. Templates don't allow you to individually discuss a roles nuances and specifics - show an employer you understand the role and are genuinely passionate about it.

3. Remember to Tailor it to the Company

Using a copy and paste template and swapping out company names doesn't work. An employer will take pride in the heritage and history of their business, use this to your advantage. Discuss the business itself, their overt operations and campaigns and show you are an expert on their industry.

4. Keep it Short and Sweet!

A cover letter is supposed to be short and punchy - do not waffle! Fluff talk suggests you are inexperienced or a poor communicator. Clarity is key, using a template means content is vague and generic - portraying yourself as less of an authority, and more as someone with a pale set of skills.

5. Finish Strong

Always express your interest in meeting the employer, include your availability and say how you are looking forward to hearing from them. The final part of your cover letter is your best chance to leave a lasting impression - be creative, and don't use copy and paste content.

So there you have it, some useful tips on writing a cover letter - it's always worth taking the extra time to tailor a cover letter to each unique role. We work with employers everyday, we see cover letters rejected on a daily basis because they are inherently generic - avoid this pitfall!

For more information please visit our guide on cover letters.

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