Cover letters are still important!

Posted // by Georgina Deas

Some would argue that cover letters no longer hold as much importance as they used to, however you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of your covering letters.


Technology has certainly altered recruitment and the role of traditional CV’s and cover letters, however, nothing can replace a well-written cover letter conveying a candidate’s commitment to the role applied for.


LinkedIn profiles, online portfolios, social recruiting, and even video cover letters have their place in today’s recruitment market to varying effect but let’s take things back to basics: the importance of an attention-grabbing, well-written cover letter.


A lot of the time, companies will still specify that the job application requires a cover letter and not just your CV. Missing out, or failing to provide, that cover letter doesn’t reflect well on a candidate’s attention to detail, which is usually a key skill for many roles. Cover letters are essential for introducing your personality and your reasons for applying to the job, something that can be challenging to put across in your CV alone.


So what should you include in a good cover letter?


  • Firstly, do your research. Use the information in the job advert and find out more about the company to tailor your cover letter appropriately.
  • Keep it short and to the point. Your cover letter doesn’t have to be any longer than one page but it does need to make the reader want to keep reading and learning about you.
  • Make sure it’s relevant. Use keywords from the job advert in your cover letter. You’ll stand out if you can demonstrate that you’ve read the job description and can show how well it suits your skills.
  • Don’t go into too much detail. You don’t need to include every skill you have, just the key skill mentioned in the job advert and are relevant to the role. If the job description is looking for someone motivated, give them an example and show them how you’re motivated.
  • Show your personality. Think about experiences and personal qualities you possess that make you the ideal candidate.
  • Google cover letter examples. Reading some examples of the best cover letters might help you to express your thoughts and/or give you an idea of what sort of format to use.
  • Ensure your contact details are on there and that they are correct and up-to-date. Make sure to use a professional email address! You’d be amazed at how many people put old mobile numbers or explain after you’ve managed to reach out to them that they don’t check the listed email address. If you don’t use, it shouldn’t be on your cover letter.
  • Proof read your cover letter, or better yet, pass it on to a friend or relative to proof read for you. It’s easy to miss typos if you’ve written the document by yourself.
  • Make sure to format your cover letter. Use an easy-to-read font and don’t include pictures or word art – it’s definitely not needed


Finally, your cover letter wants to answer:


“Why are you contacting the company?”

This is short and to the point. “I’m applying for the role of [Job Title] at [Company Name], currently being advertised on [Job Board]. Please find my CV attached for your consideration.”


“Why are you the best person for the job?”

Briefly explain your qualifications and the relevant skills you could bring to the role.


“What can you do for the company?”

Use your qualifications and skills, along with some examples, to show what you can achieve for the company and how your career goals align with this role.


The final paragraph should be a reiteration of the previous three.

Quickly reiterate your interest in the role and briefly confirm why you think you’d be the best fit for the job. It’s a good opportunity at this point to let the employer know you’d like to meet with them for a face-to-face interview and thank them for their time and consideration.


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us or call us on + 44 131 510 8150


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