Think before you hit SEND!
By Leanne Atkins
We see more and more people making basic mistakes when applying for vacancies and it’s costing them a job. Essentially, if you can’t follow basic instructions, I don’t think you’ll be able to follow an employer’s either, so I won’t call you about that job you’ve applied for. Sorry, but I won’t. I will move on to the applicants who have followed the instructions as they’ve listened/read/understood and taken the time necessary, showing they are serious about their application.
Here’s a typical daily example:-
Job advert reads:
Please apply with your CV and cover letter/email stating why you think you’re suitable for the advertised role/
Applicant sends over a CV with no cover letter at all. Not even an inclination of which job they’re applying for. No subject. Just a CV. Not even a sign off with their name on the email. Blankety blank.
Spot the mistake? Now as recruiters we have many skills and sometimes we do have to read minds to a certain extent, but we don’t have a crystal ball. Not one that works anyway.
I could go on and on about how not to do things, but let’s concentrate on some tips to help yourself:-
- Start the letter with the job title/reference number you are applying for. This will be on the advert somewhere! This could go in the subject line of an email.
- When writing your cover letter, ensure you’ve read what the employer is looking for within the job advert. Look at the skills, experience, qualifications and personal qualities required.
- Explain in your letter where you have had that relevant experience or have those skills and qualities.
- The letter/email doesn’t need to be long. One or two paragraphs is usually enough to highlight what you need to. Keep it to the point. Don’t waffle.
- If the job is in a different geographical location to that shown on your CV, state why you are applying, eg that you are moving to the area.
- If there is a large gap on your CV of employment and it’s not stated why on your CV, then explain the gap in your cover letter.
- Finish your letter with a note of thanks and your full name. If it’s not on your CV (and it should be) then include the best telephone number you can be contacted on.