I have heard mixed opinions on whether a cover letter is important or not. I personally believe it is – but… only well written cover letters! A cover letter should accompany a precisely focused CV; explaining your suitability for the role with examples referring to the CV. Whether you are looking for ‘conference producer jobs’ or ‘medical writer jobs’ – the overall job market is very competitive. You have to think about how to grab the hiring manager’s attention to stand out. Of course you need a nicely prepared CV and this will be incomplete if you don’t explain your experience and skills, showing why a potential employer should shortlist you instead of other applicants!
Based on personal experience and some online findings, let’s have a look on how you can prepare that winning cover letter:
- One for all!
I receive countless job applications where applicants do not personalise the cover letter with who they are writing to or for which role. I get the feeling that ‘I am too busy applying for jobs!’ – I am afraid a ‘one for all’ cover letter will not get you anywhere. You should take time to understand the role you are applying for, customise you letter reflecting the job description and elaborate relevant experience from the CV to show the hiring manager how you are suitable for the advertised role.
- Do you know about my business?
So you are applying for the ‘conference producer jobs’ we have advertised, but do you know what type of business we are? What is our mission or how long have we been in the industry? It is impossible to write a good cover letter without doing some research. A well researched cover letter stands out and assures the hiring manager that you already know or at least tried to understand their business and you are interested!
- Watch out the length
Recruiters generally deal with hundreds of applications every day. To make sure you’re CV and cover letter don’t end up in the rejection folder, keep them short and focused. It should be easily readable and understandable.
- Link and refer to the CV
Remember, a cover letter is a supporting document for the hiring manager to understand your suitability based on the information that you provide in the CV. Therefore, you should link both documents by using skills and experiences as examples.
- Follow the job description
Job seeking is hard work and requires patience. But, if you keep applying by just looking at the job title, and with very little or no understanding of the requirement of the advertised role, then I am afraid you are wasting valuable time! Understand the job description inside out to sell your skills/ experiences for the advertised role.
- Check & correct all spelling/ grammar mistakes, pretty please!
Well the above can happen but you should check and double check before clicking on that ‘send’ button! All jobs require up to certain level of attention to detail, imagine you are applying for medical writer jobs and your CV/ cover letter has grammar or spelling mistakes – most of the hiring managers will probably stop reading further. No matter what role you are applying for, please make sure the CV and letter are spot on, without any silly spelling/ grammar mistakes.
- A second opinion
Having a second/ expert opinion will help you to identify any error or misleading/ confusing content in the CV/ cover letter. Sometimes, to even suggest on better examples! You can get a friend or family member to help. But, based on my experience of working in one of the most successful media recruitment consultants in London, you can get the best expert assistance from an experienced recruitment consultant. How? The consultant already has dealt with the hiring manager and probably placed other people within the company, so they will not only be able to help you with industry knowledge, but also can provide customised guidance on CV/ letter preparation (and if shortlisted, you can get help with interview preparation).
Our experienced and friendly consultants at Media Contacts can help candidates looking for jobs in the media communications industry (namely PR, healthcare PR, conference, sales, marketing, digital, publishing, medical writing). Here is a list of our live jobs, you can contact us on 0207 359 8244 or email [email protected]