And while including a cover letter will make your application good, including a tailored cover letter will make your application great.
Interestingly, nearly two thirds (66.9%) of job hunters between the ages of 18 and 24 find the process of tailoring cover letters to every application frustrating.
And we are sympathetic.
Tailoring a cover letter does take a little more time to craft than simply firing off generic cover letters with every job application – but we promise it’s worth the time and effort.
Here are three reasons you need to tailor your cover letter to every application and some top tips to help you along the way.
1. It highlights your most relevant experience
29.3% of UK workers think that a tailored cover letter shows relevant examples of your skills.
And that it does.
The purpose of a cover letter is to expand on the skills in your CV to prove you’re a great match for the job. If you tailor your cover letter to each application, you can show potential employers exactly why you’re good for that role specifically.
Let’s say you’re applying for two jobs, one is an in-house PR role in the engineering sector and the other is a PR role at an agency spanning many industries. Instead of keeping your cover letter generic and stating that you have a great writing ability and a beneficial network of contacts, tailor your cover letter and explain exactly why those traits are beneficial to each employer.
If you spell it out for the recruiter, you’re more likely to progress to interview stage because you’re showcasing something they specifically want.
2. It demonstrates your interest in the company
The other benefit of writing a tailored cover letter is that it highlights your interest in the company and your knowledge of the sector, proving why you should be considered for an interview.
Typically, cover letters are broken down into four paragraphs, and the third is where you should detail why you want to work for the company. If you’re not tailoring your cover letter, chances are you’re missing out this valuable paragraph entirely.
In this third paragraph, you should state why you’re so keen on joining the company and highlight ways you can add to its success. It’s also worth mentioning how you fit in with its company culture and core values.
Not only will this show that you have the skills and the knowledge, but that you fit with the company on a personal level, too. Just remember to illustrate what you can do for the company, not what it can do for you. After all, your prospective employer is looking for someone who can make the company better!
3. It gives you the edge over other applicants
The third reason you should seriously consider tailoring your cover letter to every application is because it’s more personal, and this will give you an edge over other applicants.
For example, if you’re submitting a generic cover letter, chances are you’ve addressed it ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ (or worse, ‘Dear Recruiter’!). This will get you nowhere and suggests you haven’t carried out research.
Instead, address your letter to the hiring manager or the recruiter dealing with the vacancy – their name is typically included on the job description. If you can’t find it, simply call the employer and ask who you should address your letter to. Personalising your cover letter in this way shows you’re serious about the position, and the recruiter will take you seriously in return.
A massive 41.4% of job hunters don’t tailor their cover letters, so if you tailor yours, you’ll stand miles above the competition and increase your chances of landing that all-important interview.
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