What is a cover letter for, you say?
Simply- it’s a snapshot of your skills, drivers, what you are aiming for, potential successes and your personality.
Any assessor can get a good insight into you via a well written cover letter, a poor one however may end your application right there. You wouldn’t submit a poorly written resume, yet so many students don’t pay attention to their cover letters.
Not everyone asks for a tailored cover letter, so please check if the company has asked for one.
- If they have, ensure you put time and effort into it- as they will be reading it.
- If they have clearly stated they do not want a cover letter –do not waste your time as they will not be reading it!
- If it is not clear – Undercover Grad Recruiters suggests to attach one.
Simple cover letter rules:
It should start with a summary about you, who you are and what skills/ knowledge you possess.
Highlight points such as:
- The degree type you are about to/ have completed and link back to why this is relevant for the job you want to secure. For example: “I wish to apply for the position of Graduate/ Intern as advertised [publication] on [date]. I am currently completing my [Bachelor of X] at [college/university] and believe I will be challenged and stretched to provide me the opportunity to learn and grow. I also recognise the invaluable experience that would be gained and set my career in strong steed by working with one of the [most reputable names] in the industry.”
- Relevant work experience, be it corporate or other (ie: customer service is still very relevant).
- Strengths/ Talents such as languages, leadership exposure or problem-solving.
- Achievements (if possible list those outside of university above academic achievements so recruiters can see your scope outside of your studies).
- Your drivers, ambitions and career goals.
- Where possible, include keywords from a position description, company values and the graduate ‘pillars’ as stated by each company.
(*Pillars refer to the essential or core attributes of the person or role as listed in the job description).
- Ensure each letter is tailored to the specific company you are applying for, there is nothing more off putting for a recruiter than reading a cover letter addressed to another company as you forgot to change the name.
- Integrate research and company knowledge you have attained where relevant.
- Make sure the cover letter reflects and represents you and your desires and goals (don’t fake it or sound like someone you are not).
- A graduate cover letter needs to have passion and drive oozing from the words from start to end.
- Less is more. There is no need to write more than half to one page for a cover letter.
- We say this constantly, but check for grammar and punctuation and get someone to proof it for you before sending.
- Finish off with a closing statement such as: “I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you / I would appreciate the opportunity of an interview”.
UC Grad Recruiter.