Typically, Hiring Managers want to know…
- Why you applied for their role? Your motivation –
- What level of skills and experience you have, relevant to their role/company? Your value –
- Why they should employ you? Your point of difference –
Job search success often relies on your ability to market yourself by answering these questions and a cover letter provides the opportunity. The aim is to stand out and avoid getting lost in the pile of applications. Consider it more of a marketing tool, than a standard letter.
1. In your introductory paragraph, explain your motivation – why you are applying for the role. Look to focus on what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you. If possible, find a connection or a hook – a reason to stand out.
2. Take a moment and consider why they should employ you. What do you offer? What is your point of difference? Do you have a unique blend of experience, which is relevant? Worked consistently for key industry companies or on similar major projects? You might have significant experience or a qualification or skill that is highly relevant. Are you passionate about or aligned with their culture? Be authentic – outline why do you want this role specifically?
3. Clearly and concisely demonstrate the value you bring, through your most relevant achievements. This may not necessarily be your greatest or most significant work, but what is relevant to the role you are applying for. Read the job description or advert and underline key points.
For example, if the role is looking for someone who can,
“manage global end-to-end processes for leadership development programs and establish customized learning and leadership development frameworks”
You could write –
“In my role with ABC Company, I managed the end-to-end process for leadership development programs across our Asia Pacific region. I led the XX Leadership program, designing a framework specifically customised to foster agility and manage multi-dimensional leadership and change globally. My management experience ensured we targeted our specific challenges of changing markets and fluctuating workforce needs. Success was due to pre-assessment and evaluation of current and future leaders and strong partnering and coaching specifically with In-Country Leaders.”
The letter provides opportunity to demonstrate relevant experience and provide detail on the value you bring.
4. Repeat this for the key criteria listed in the job description, so the reader has a clear picture on the level of skills and experience you have, relevant to the role/company.