Mastering the Art of the Cover Letter
Mastering the Art of the Cover Letter: Your Key to Landing a Job in Ireland
Applying for a new job means crafting an application that will show your prospective employers you are a great fit for the position. Your CV will detail your qualifications and experience and demonstrate to the employer or recruitment agent that you can do the job, and your cover letter allows you to personalise this and demonstrate your aptitude for the role.
Crafting a compelling cover letter isn’t easy and it’s a good idea to invest time and energy in the process to ensure that you stand out from other applicants. This is a great chance to get your potential employer excited about your application and highlight the reasons why they should interview you and, ultimately, offer you the position.
Writing a great cover letter
Writing a good cover letter is all about highlighting the parts of your CV that relate to the job you are applying for and demonstrating your desire to work for the company you are applying to. We work with many employers and we know what they are looking for, and a personal approach that will allow them to understand you and your unique potential can make all the difference in the application stage.
Here, we’ll explore how to write about your skills and experiences favourably and make sure your letter has the impact you need. Read on for our top tips and connect with our experienced recruitment team today to find out how we can help you secure the job of your dreams.
Essential elements of a successful cover letter
The following elements of your cover letter can make a big difference to the success of your application:
- Introduce yourself. A cover letter is an opportunity for a personal introduction, while your CV is just information on the page. You should open your cover letter with an introduction to yourself and a brief explanation of why you are applying for this position. This should be a short introduction that mentions your passion for the role or the industry and your interest in the company you are applying to, and the personal touch will be your first opportunity to stand out from the crowd. “I was excited to see this opportunity as I have been interested in working with your team at xxxxx for a long time,” is a much more memorable sentence than “I would like to work for xxxxxx because it looks like a great opportunity.” Let your enthusiasm shine through and take the chance to show your personality wherever you can.
- Highlight your personal qualities. The job description for the role you are applying for will list essential qualities and other desirable qualities, and you should take the opportunity to highlight that you possess these. In your letter, outline the qualities you have that relate directly to this role and explain how you developed these. This is a very helpful way to lay out what makes you the right person for the job, giving the reader an insight into your approach to your work and letting them know that you will be a great asset to the team.
- Point out specific relevant skills. When you are applying for a role you want, it’s important to show the person reading your application letter that you are the best person for the job. This means pointing out elements of your CV that particularly highlight your capabilities and skills and showing that you are well suited to the position. For instance, if the position requires you to lead or be part of a team, it can be helpful to mention instances where you have already done this successfully to demonstrate how your transferrable skills will enable you to carry out this role with enthusiasm and energy.
- Pay attention to the job description. Taking the time to tie your cover letter into the job description for the role you are applying for can make all the difference to the impression you make on your reader. You may have honed your skills in securing contracts but if this is not a part of the job you are applying for, there is no point in mentioning it when you write your cover letter. Focus on the specifics of this particular job and highlight things you have done that directly relate to these.
- Don’t forget the basics. It’s easy to get carried away with the content of your cover letter and forget to include the basic details that are important to your application. Your contact details, for instance, should be included at the top of the letter, with your name, address, email address and phone number so that the employer can contact you easily. You should also pay attention to your spelling and grammar, as simple mistakes can be costly. When you are addressing the letter, find out who you are writing to and address it personally if at all possible.
- Do your research. Your cover letter is an opportunity to impress, so take the time to research the company you are applying to and check that it is a company that will be a good fit for you. When you write, explain why this company appeals to you and what it is that makes you interested in working there. If the company has recently made changes or made a significant achievement, mentioning these will show that you are genuinely keen to connect with this company and that you are well-informed and engaged with the mission and values of your potential employer.
- Close well. In your final paragraph, you should summarise why you feel your skill set and personality will fit into the company or team you are applying to and reiterate your enthusiasm for this role. Finish by writing that you are looking forward to discussing the role further or that you would welcome the chance to discuss the position further at the interview, and sign off with the appropriate closing. A formal letter that is addressed to the person concerned will usually sign off with ‘Yours sincerely,’ and then your name, with a handwritten signature if you are sending a hard copy of your letter.
- Get feedback. Before you send your application, ask a trusted friend or relative to read through your CV and cover letter and check for any mistakes. Ask them to be honest about how you come across in your letter and to give you feedback on any improvements you could make.
In short, your cover letter can make or break your job application and writing a strong, enthusiastic letter will ensure that you stick in the mind of the potential employer you are applying to. Take the time to follow this guide and make the most of the opportunity, and you’ll improve your chances of securing the job you want.
Work with a Recruitment Agency In Ireland
If you’re looking for a new job in Ireland, we can help you find positions that inspire you and support you throughout the application process. CareerWise Recruitment Agency has many years of experience in the recruitment industry in Ireland, and our friendly team is on hand to take the stress out of the job application process for you. Talk to us today to find out how we can help.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon and Galway, and we can help you find the top talent for your business in Ireland. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us at +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
(Marketing Manager) CIPD – Shannon Office
Gillian comes from a large multinational telecoms environment, where she worked in Finance/HR and Project Administration for over 9 years. She also has many years editorial/desktop publishing experience.
Since joining CareerWise Recruitment, Gillian has been focusing on developing and utilising all relevant aspects of social and professional media. Gillian has a strong creative acumen and develops, implements and executes a clear, engaging content marketing strategy. Her creative content generation is compelling and increases awareness and brand visibility.
She is CIPD (University of Limerick) qualified and also holds a diploma in Business Studies.