If you have lots of relevant experience for a role, it can be really tempting to highlight all of this in your cover letter – but sometimes this can do more harm than good if not done correctly.
This has been a recurring theme in some of my appointments – lots of examples of students’ experiences and skills they have gained, but no detail of how such experiences will help them in the role, nor how that experience has motivated them to apply.
This is where it can be obvious if students are using a generic cover letter. Remember, it is vital that each letter is tailored to a specific job. When reading a cover letter, it should be clear what the role will involve and why that role stands out to the applicant.
My top tips:
- Have a mini-intro and mini-conclusion for each paragraph where you link back to the job.
- Talk about what you are most looking forward to doing / what you believe you will be good at and then link to your examples to prove the statement.
- Be specific with your examples and focus on achievements. See this blog for helpful info
- Refer to the job description and person specification – this reassures the employer you know what you’re applying to!
- Your CV will highlight all of your relevant experience – your cover letter needs to explain why it is relevant to the role (e.g. what relevant skills it gave you, what you learnt, what you know you’re good at, what you enjoy doing)
- Sometimes it’s not possible to talk about all relevant experiences – choose those that stand out the most.
- Check and check again for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- For feedback on formatting and content, book a 15-minute Applications Advice appointment through MyFuture.