Enhancing your CV with a cover letter

Cover letters are a fantastic way to enhance your CV and allow the hiring manager to build a picture of yourself and your motivations. Some people say that a cover letter isn’t necessary and doesn’t increase your chances of gaining an interview, however, a well put together cover letter can be extremely effective. 

  1. Make it personal

Your cover letter is cherry on top of a well put together CV. It’s important not to reword your CV in a cover letter, but to explain to the hiring manager what your top motivations are and the reason why not only their job is right for you, but why you’re right for their specific position which you’re applying for. Ensure you’ve addressed the cover letter to the hiring manager if you have their name, as you would a formal letter. If you don’t have the details of the hiring manager or the person who will be reviewing your CV, include the company name and address at the top of the letter and simply address it to ‘Whom it may concern’, ‘Sir or Madam’ etc.

  1. Keep it brief

As mentioned in my first point, your cover letter is enhancing your CV, not repeating your CV. The optimal cover letter is between half a page and one page long. You should keep it to a few points which include; 

  1. Why you’re writing the cover letter
  2. A brief introduction about yourself
  3. Why you’re a good fit for the position and the organisation 
  4. Appreciation for being considered for the role 
  1. What if there isn’t a specific role available? 

You may not be able to be so specific in your cover letter if there isn’t a position currently advertised which you are introducing yourself for. If this is the case, it’s certainly a great tool to ensure that your CV isn’t filed with hundreds of other CV’s an organisation will probably be receiving on a regular basis. This is a great way for you to stand out and show how you’re particularly interested in working for their organisation. Include facts and your reasons for why you’d be a good fit for the company and a successful hire when there is a position which is suitable for you skillset. 

4. Does it have to be a letter? 

A cover letter doesn’t necessarily need to be a letter, have you thought about the benefits of adding a personalised video to enhance your CV? Think about the amount of times you’ve seen a movie trailer vs seeing the movie advertised on a billboard and how much more excited you’d be to watch the film after seeing a short 60 second clip. This is exactly the same as enhancing your CV with a video! I’ve listed my top tips on how to nail a video supporting document in one of my previous posts here *include hyperlink to how to enhance your CV with a video*. It’s important to only include a clip if it’s executed correctly, if you’re not so confident speaking to your phone, it’s best to stick to a written letter – whatever you feel sells yourself best. 

5. Relax! 

All of the above points should help you relax when you’re arriving for your interview, but remember to just breathe especially if you’re prone to getting particularly nervous when it comes to interviews. There are plenty of useful podcasts which are available to listen to which will help you relax whether it be the morning of or the night before your interview.