Why is a “good” covering letter important?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Imagine you’re recruiting and you’ve got over one hundred applicants. Flipping through the cover letters you read “To whom it may concern, I’m writing to apply for the role of Sales Assistant. Please find enclosed my CV which includes relevant qualifications and experience. I’d welcome the opportunity to blah blah blah…….” You might as well put in the blah blah blah’s, because that hiring manager’s probably  switched off before they even got to that part.

Now, there will be times when it’s completely appropriate to stick to a more formal approach and it’s important not to come across as a chancer, so how do you write a great cover letter and make a lasting first impression? 

How about starting the letter like this:

  • Last year I implemented a Social Media plan that created X amount of revenue for my company. Resulting in us smashing our sales target by 150%. I’d love the opportunity to discuss my ideas of how I could do the same for you.
  • I’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since I made a whole wardrobe of clothes for my barbie out of old socks. My love for design has never faulted and I now make all my own clothes and would love the opportunity to show you my portfolio.
  • If I’d written my perfect job role, this would be it! I’m passionate about the environment and have volunteered with the local wildlife trust for the last 5 years.
  • I love what you do and I’d really like to be a part of it.
  • I see you’re recruiting for a pizza technician, have you consider a caramelised onion, apple, and goats cheese pizza? I’ve got lots of other topping combinations I’d love to share with you.

These opening lines should spark an interest and leave the reader wanting more. You’ll need to make sure your CV is up to scratch to keep their interest, read our article on Top Tips for Writing an Awesome CV. If you do use humour, it’s important that it’s done tastefully. First impressions count and you don’t get a second chance!