Even though you may have an impressive CV, crafting a good cover letter is essential to help you stand out from the crowd

The main objective of your cover letter is to make the employer want to meet you for a job interview. This means the letter should attract the attention of the employer in a positive way. Explain what you have to offer and be specific. It will improve your chances. Don’t forget to collect as much information as possible on the company before applying, as the more you know about them, it easier it will be to show them how you fit into their company’s culture, and more importantly, how you can best fit the role they are looking to fill.

Include an engaging headline that captures who you are and/or what you aim to achieve for the company. Then you should outline the reasons why you are motivated to join this company: why them? Then include a sentence explaining why the company should choose you, in other words, describe why and how you are the best fit. In the remainder of the letter, remember to describe how you fit the actual job criteria, and how your specific skills and experience relates to the skills required for the job.

Here is some advice on how to make your cover letter shine in the right way:

  • Explain what you have to offer: See things from the employer’s perspective. Make the right balance between focusing on future benefits for the company in hiring you, rather than your own past experiences.
  • Address the criteria in the job ad: Describe how you fulfil the criteria specified in the ad. Be specific when you translate your experiences and personal qualities to match the job criteria.
  • Find a suitable style: Write your application in a style that matches the type of company you are addressing. 
  • Write with clarity and precision. Avoid long and complex sentences. Use shorter paragraphs and break up your application in sections. An application should be no longer than one A4 page, so keep it succinct. 
  • Avoid mistakes: Always check your application for language errors, especially if you are not writing in your mother tongue. If possible, get another person to carefully proofread your application. 
  • Spend time on each application. It is important that your application is specific to the company and the actual job. You shouldn't use exactly the same application for several companies.
  • Give reasons why you are the best candidate for the job. Remember to provide examples.