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Market Talent CV 101 - The cover letter - how to stand out.

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Follow our CV 101, compiled by our expert consultants who share their top tips and best practice.

In this weeks’ CV 101 we’ll be looking at how the use of a cover letter can set you apart from other candidates when an employer is looking at CV’s. Often overlooked, a good cover letter helps an employer quickly hone in on what makes you perfect for their role, and helps secure you that interview.

More than just insider knowledge, our guide to what employers pick up on will be your edge in the competitive world of financial recruitment. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when knowing what to include when applying for a role, so use our tips to overcome those nerves, and stand out from everyone else.

 

  • A cover letter is a great way to demonstrate your writing style in a way that your CV can’t. It is an opportunity to demonstrate to an employer your ability to be concise, relevant, and that you have a good command of one of the basic skills needed in any role.

  • If you’ve prepared your CV with the help of our CV Basics article, then you’re already one step ahead of the curve. Your cover letter will now take the bare bones laid out in your CV and put flesh on them. It’s the opportunity to really hone in on the skills and qualities that you have, that are really relevant to the role they need to fill.

  • A carefully crafted cover letter will add that personal touch, and show more of your character, that your CV ever could, and it’s a great way to make a statement about yourself, and why you would be the perfect person for the role.
  • The key to a good cover letter is simplicity. Make sure it’s an accessible document that invites a potential employer to read it. Use plain white paper, or an uncluttered document format, and if emailing keep it in the body of the email – an attachment often goes unnoticed.  Be sure to keep the contents clear and concise, sticking to the points that make you right for the role, and keep it to no more than one side of A4.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the job spec, and pick out skills and examples of work, relevant to this – you don’t want to take space with general information, which while useful in showing your complete skillset, may not be particularly relevant to the role.

  • Try to connect with the person that will be reading it. Use a less formal greeting than ‘To whom it may concern,’ demonstrate your understanding of the company, and how you would fit in there, and give some insight in to why you would like the role on offer, what makes you passionate about that particular career?

  • Don’t forget the basics! Make sure you spell check your letter, and then review the grammar and punctuation. Say when you are available to start, and make sure to relate any skills mentioned to the job that is offered, and avoid unnecessary or long words, when a shorter, simpler one will do – When someone is reading numerous CV’s a day, an easy to read letter is always welcomed.

 

Later on in the series, we’ll be bringing you a sample structure for the perfect cover letter, but until then, comment below, or on socials, and share with friends, any tips or advice for what’s worked for you in the past.