Cover Letter | Collins McNicholas

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Cover LetterYour cover letter is often the first impression you make on a hiring manager, therefore it is essential to include the right information. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself and it should make a hiring manager want to find out more about you. A cover letter is not as structured as a CV and so gives an opportunity to be more personable. Below is a quick list of things you should keep in mind when preparing a cover letter. It needs to be sent to the correct person – try to find out the best person to address the cover letter to rather than just saying ‘To whom it may concern.’ This could be the direct hiring manager or a contact in HR. A small bit of research should enable you to find a contact name. It should show that you have done some research on the company/job you are applying to – include a reference to the company or industry in the cover note. This could be mentioning something you read about the company or even just mentioning that you are aware they are an industry leader. It should be tailored to the specific job you are applying to – a generic cover note will not do. It needs to highlight your skills and experience that are relevant to the job. You can use the job specification find the key requirements and then highlight where your experience matched this. It should be kept short and concise – the cover note should be kept to a single page. You don’t need to highlight everything that is already covered in your CV. Just draw attention to some key areas. It should show why you are interested in that particular job/company, and why they should be interested in you – highlight your enthusiasm for the position/company, explain the main reasons why you are interested in this particular job, and sum up by briefly explaining why you are the right person for this job and how you can help the company. Conclusion Once your cover letter is ready check it for spelling mistakes and make sure that it is well formatted. Don’t forget to thank the hiring manager for considering your application. For more information on creating a cover letter take a look at some of our cover letter templates under the Jobseekers tab. Mark Whelan Recruitment Consultant Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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Writing a Great Cover Letter

Many jobseekers find it difficult to write a cover letter. Although it may not appear as straightforward as writing a CV, with a little guidance it can prove a relatively simple task. The keys to writing a good cover letter are to keep it clear and easy to read, and to focus the employer’s attention onto your best qualities. Purpose The purpose of a cover letter is to state your interest in the job, to express your desire to work for the company and to highlight the key skills/qualities that make you the ideal candidate for the job. A good cover letter will be short and to the point. Three to five short paragraphs is sufficient and it should never be longer than one page. A cover letter should be tailored specifically for each job application. Don’t restate everything on CV. Instead, expand on the most impressive part of your CV in a way that highlights your ability to do the job. Ask yourself, what skills and experience do I possess that will be most useful in this job? The answer will determine the content of your cover letter. Structure Insert your name, address, email and phone number at the top right hand side of the page. Place the employer’s details below that on the left hand side of the page. Enter the date immediately below the employer’s details on the left hand side. Next you should mention the job you are applying for. On a separate line write ‘Re:’ followed by the job title and the job reference number, if there is one. In the opening paragraph introduce...

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The Top 10 Tips for Writing a Great Cover Letter

I recently gave a talk to a group of postgraduate students in IT Sligo about how to find work in today’s job market. During the course of the afternoon they asked me several questions about different aspects of applying for jobs, but the question that drew the most interest from the group was about how to write a good cover letter. A good cover letter can greatly improve your chances of landing an interview. To do this you need to show what makes you the standout candidate for the job. The cover letter is usually the first thing an employer sees when they begin reviewing candidates, so it is vital that you state your case strongly and clearly. With that in mind, here are my top 10 tips for writing a great cover letter: 1.      Start strongly A strong opening paragraph is crucial. You must clearly state who you are, why you are writing, and why you are the right person for the job. You can then expand on this in subsequent paragraphs. 2.      Highlight your most relevant skills The purpose of a cover letter is to draw the attention of the employer to the most relevant points from your CV. It is about identifying the attributes that make you the right person for the job. They should be able to recognise immediately why you are such a strong candidate. 3.      Relate your experience and skills to the job Niall Murray, GM Collins McNicholasIt is important to demonstrate how your skills and experience will be applied to the new role in the organisation. Be specific about the ways in...

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Conquer your Fears…Conquer the Cover Letter

As a recruitment professional one of the most common subjects I am asked about is the cover letter. It is a task that fills people with dread. I am often puzzled by how much difficulty people have writing this short letter attached to the front of their CV. The purpose of a cover letter is simple; highlight the main reasons you believe you are the right person for the job. Once you keep that in mind, writing a cover letter is pretty straight forward. Employers typically spend a few seconds scanning a job application and, because of this, small errors can end up spoiling the chances of even the strongest candidate. These mistakes are easy to avoid once you know what they are. So with that in mind, here are my top 5 mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter. 1. Using a Generic Cover Letter Every cover letter you write should be written for one specific job application. Employers require different skillsets and different types of experience in their employees. Identify what employers value most and tailor your cover letter to meet those expectations each time you apply for a job. 2. Restating Everything on Your CV The purpose of a cover letter is to draw the employer’s attention to the most relevant pieces of information on your CV and emphasise why that makes you the right candidate for the job. Rehashing your CV will lead to your cover letter being far too long. Three to four short paragraphs is the ideal length for a cover letter. 3. Not Describing What You Offer the Company Your reasons...

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Cover Letters – Make a Good First Impression

A COVER LETTER is often the first thing an employer will look at when reviewing a job candidate. As everyone knows first impressions do count and while a good cover letter will not guarantee you get the job, a bad cover letter can certainly prevent you from getting one. For that reason it is important that you prepare a good cover letter to accompany your CV. Many job seekers are apprehensive about writing a cover letter but it doesn’t need to be such a daunting task. How to draft your Cover Letter The structure of the cover letter should be clear and easy to read. Insert your name, address, email and phone number at the top right hand side of the page. Place the employer’s details below that on the left hand side of the page. Enter the date immediately below the employer’s details on the left hand side. Next you should mention the job you are applying for. On a separate line write ‘Re:’ followed by the job title and the job reference number, if there is one. In the opening paragraph introduce yourself and clearly explain the opportunity you are interested in. The middle paragraph will briefly outline why you are a good candidate for the job. This will only involve mentioning two or three of your most impressive and relevant achievements and relating them to the position you are applying for. This could involve your academic achievements, a particular work project, skills you developed in a previous job, or even a personal achievement that emphasises a useful trait or characteristic. It can be helpful to include some of the...

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