How to write the perfect cover letter

6th September 2016

The power of the cover letter is not to be underestimated. At best, it can help you stand out from the crowd – for all the right reasons. At worst, it can put you at the bottom of the pile before you’ve even had a chance to attend an interview.

It’s an opportunity to let a potential employer know why YOU are the right person for the job, but knowing where to start and what exactly to include can be daunting.

To help you on your way, the Kaizen team has compiled a list of tried and tested top tips to writing the perfect cover letter.

1. Start right

Start off on the right foot by addressing your cover letter to the correct person. If there’s no name in the job ad, ask the company who you should address your application to. Avoid saying, “To whom it may concern.” Jumping straight into the letter without addressing anybody is better than going generic.

2. Make good use

Although you should elaborate on anything that’s relevant to the job, make sure you don’t end up just rewriting your CV. As well as highlighting certain roles, skills and achievements, use the cover letter to show your personality and interest in the sector you are applying to work in.

3. Less is more

The ideal cover letter is around half a page long, maximum. Make sure you get to the most interesting and important points as soon as you can so you don’t lose the reader’s interest before they’ve got to the bets bit.

4. Write from scratch

Use a different cover letter for every job you are applying for. If you are just changing the name and job title each time, you WILL eventually slip up. Plus, all good hiring managers can spot a lazy cover letter a mile off.

5. End on a high

Finish your cover letter by briefly explaining how your experience or passion makes you the right person for the job. You can also add that you would love the opportunity to meet in person to further discuss your experience (as long as you’ve addressed your letter to the correct person – see top tip number one!).