Many students have asked us for sample cover letters that they can download. It is really difficult to offer templates. The point of a cover letter is that it is personal, so by definition a template is going to be weak. If you simply download them and don’t personalize them, it will be obvious to recruiters.
We will show you a couple of sample formats, but you must personalize them according to your circumstances, your career history, and the position you are applying for.
Do you actually need a cover letter?
As with everything about job applications, it depends on the circumstances, but as a general rule, yes you do .This is why.
Only about 10% of people bother to send a personalised cover letter, so straight away you are separating yourself from the crowd, and showing the recruiter that you are interested in their particular vacancy and not just firing your CV off to anyone and everyone.
A Cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain why you are a great match for the vacancy. You can show how your skills, achievements, qualifications and experiences meet their criteria. Use the keywords in the job description to reinforce your application.
You also get the opportunity to clarify any specifics about your employment history, which may not be obvious from the rigid format of a CV.You might want to elaborate on relevant experience in more detail than a CV will allow , perhaps call attention to particular career developments, such as why you left a position you held.
You also get a chance to express a genuine interest in aspects of the company to which you are applying. Demonstrating that kind of knowledge can help you show that you have researched the company, and have an understanding and appreciation for the position for which you are applying.
For a recruiter or employer the lack of a cover letter indicates that a job applicant is unprofessional, and has missed an opportunity to communicate, perhaps through laziness, or perhaps lack of real interest in this particular vacancy.
The cover letter injects some personality to your application and demonstrates to the employer that you may well be a welcome addition to the team. “Let’s at least interview them “
What format should your cover letter take?
The letter is a sales tool for you.
1. First it must grab the reader’s attention, then get their interest, next make them want to know more, then get them to take action. The action you want is for them to read your CV with interest and hopefully call you to interview. So follow these steps, using appropriate information for you and the position advertised.
“Your colleague, Mary Jones, has great things to say about the organization and thinks I might fit in well there. “
2. Then get their interest. Say why you want to work for the company. This shows you have done some research at least. Make it as relevant as you can, look online for snippets of news you can use, or perhaps mention a relevant policy they list on their website.-
“ I know the company have a policy of internal promotion , so I would love to get in on the ground floor of the company and develop my career with you . “
3. Then encourage them to take your application to the next level, by Including interesting and personal information about why you are a good fit for the job-for example , if the position is in buying say;-
“I have always been interested in the workings of retail, and as a keen shopper myself, would love a career in buying”
4. Now you need them to take action. Show how you match the position by briefly mentioning experience, qualifications or qualities you know they are looking for. For example if they want someone with HR and training experience;-
“In my position at ABC company , I was responsible for all trainees, and designed a bespoke training and development programme for each one “