If your CV is top-quality, the cover letter is just a formality, right? Wrong. It’s your chance to make direct contact with your prospective employer and that makes it even more important.
As well as highlighting why your skills and experience are right for a particular job, you can show initiative and enterprise. A bit of research reveals you’re aware of the types of challenges the company faces right now. Explain how, given the opportunity, you’d set about meeting them. Mention previous achievements that show you’re capable of seeing your plan through.
The tone of your letter is crucial. It should be engaging, well presented and to the point – two or three paragraphs at most. Don’t confuse sophistication with verbosity. It’s not a question of impressing people with flowery language. Try to write as you speak. That’s to say, naturally and without fuss. As with your CV, a cover letter is not meant to be exhaustive. Its purpose is to entice potential employers. If all goes well, they’ll request an interview so they can hear you elaborate on why you’re right for the job.