A cover letter or application letter is usually included as a submission along with the resume. There are a wide range of opinions of whether to include a cover letter or letter of application along with the resume, particularly if a cover letter is not specifically asked for.
Many recruiters and job seekers claim that there is no point in submitting a cover letter, as they are rarely if ever, read. Personally I believe this is because most if not all cover letters are filled with the yawn factor. That is;
a) Most talk about the job seekers needs and are filled with “I” statements. Your cover letter must talk about the organisations needs and how you can meet these, with mention of achievements rather than general wishy washy statements about “excellent communication” and “being a team player”
b) Many cover letters do not address anyone in particular including “To Whom It May Concern” or do not address the person listed within a job advertisement. This is not only rude, but demonstrates that the candidate is not taking care to address the requirements listed including addressing the letter to the relevant person. If you are unable to gain a contact name, at the very least address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager” or similar
c) Many cover letters do not include the job reference number if applicable or even the position title within the cover letter, meaning the recruiter, already inundated with applications for more than one position now has to undertake more research to determine which position you are applying for
d) Many cover letters mention only duties and achievements which can give the impression that the person was just doing enough to get by, and doesn’t necessarily prove that the candidate did their job well?
Consider the following before and after text contained within a cover letter;
To whom it may concern.
This is a covering letter written for previously available position X, within X your company. After reading the associated Position Description I believe I have all the necessary attributes to fulfil the role. I have 8 years experience serving onboard x ships. My primary role during this time, involved the maintenance and defect rectification of the x System. Upon leaving the Navy I gained employment with Australian Defence Industries (ADI), who has since been taken over by x. I have been with xx for x years and during this time I have further added to my already extensive knowledge base to achieve a level suitable for my current position as a x Technician.
My primary role whilst at xxx has been to manage, overhaul and xxxxx Radar . I expanded out of this role to also rectify defects within the xxx system on xx class ships. Another aspect of my job was to assist in xxx on x class ships.
Dear Hiring Manager
Re: Application for position of xxxx Engineer Ref X
Extensive experience (over twelve years) as a xxx Technician as well as completion of a diverse array of training (Certificate IV in x, x and x), with specialist knowledge in x integration and x integration are just a few of the skills offered offer in application for the above position.
Career achievements includde receiving an award for outstanding work in concluding x Set to Work (STW) project as part of my current role as x Technician for x Australia.
As part of my current role I have produced and reviewed technical documentation including Job Safety Analysis statements, and testing documentation. Additionally, as Supervisor of x Systems for the x I prepared and delivered presentations in order to brief electronic technicians in relation to location and reconfiguration of power supplies, and training information in relation to combat systems with x results.
Use these tips to improve your cover letters.
Until next time. Turbocharge your career.
Be daring…be different.