When it comes to writing your cover letter, you can often find yourself staring at a blank screen. Always know that you’re not alone and although it can feel daunting, using the right tools can help alleviate any concerns and allow you to write the perfect cover letter for your dream tech career.
Deciding whether to send a cover letter is a common debate, especially with the ease of applying online. The option to opt out of sending a cover letter is becoming increasingly popular. However, you should always accompany your CV with a cover letter unless it’s otherwise specified.
Your cover letter is a professional summary of who you are and what you can offer the company. Therefore, why not stand out amongst hundreds of candidates by showing a genuine interest in the company.
Expanding on your CV
The temptation to list your education, previous jobs etc. can be strong, but no recruiter wants to read a rehashed copy of your CV. Instead, focus on specific insights or anecdotes about your achievements. Elaborate on information that recruiters need to know and that they aren't getting from your CV.
Tailor your cover letter
Regardless of any industry, tailoring your cover letter to the job description is crucial. In order to make your cover letter stand out, you need to exhibit how you exceed beyond the job requirements, as opposed to just listing a range of skills. Having the employer in mind will help frame your skills and achievements in a way that is valuable to your employer.
Don't overdo it
Applying for an intricate job in technology can encourage you to be excessive and use stuffy language to help parallel the job description. While it’s great to include a few keywords and phrases relevant to the job, don’t over do it. If your cover letter is filled with unnecessary jargon that’s difficult to understand, then it needs changing.
To help find the right balance, write your cover letter with only a few keywords and phrases in mind and ask a friend or family member to review it. If they don’t understand after looking at it the first time, then change it. A recruiter certainly won’t make the effort to try again.
Employers have very limited time to review applications, so always aim to be concise and focus on the key points. Consider leading with a paragraph that summarises your strongest technical credentials, followed by a list of technical skills, achievements and qualifications applicable to the job position.
Remove any clichés as they just frustrate recruiters and prevent your cover letter from being clear and concise. Consider writing a first draft, then go through and edit to remove any excess.
Companies like to know that their potential employees are taking the initiative to work on their own professional development whilst looking for work. Candidates who show professional growth outside of work definitely stand out.
Having additional support such as a portfolio can also really help to boost your application. Ensure that you have one that shows off your skills and presents your qualifications in a visual way. This will speak volumes to the employer.
Remember that your cover letter is representing who you are as a professional so it needs to be immaculate. If written communication isn't your strongest asset then refresh on basic punctuation and grammar before drafting up your cover letter.
You can also ask a friend or family member to proofread before sending it out. Remember that an accurate and professional cover letter will always reflect positively on you.
The purpose of your cover letter is to exhibit what you have to offer. It should show why you’re the perfect fit for the job, prompting a potential employer to bring you in for an interview. In order to achieve this you must demonstrate that you have the specific skills, experience and personal attributes for your target role.
Companies want to see examples of strong technical skills, relevant experience and unequalled personalities. Always remember to cater your cover letter to demonstrate your commitment to the individual role. It should convince a potential employer that you have what it takes to succeed in their distinctive workplace.