Found that perfect job and ready to apply?  Is your CV a bit outdated and just not getting you noticed for the right reasons.

Found the perfect job; check.  

Your CV is ready to knock their socks off; check

Now you’re ready to apply, but wait! 

What about a covering letter?   Should you even create one, and will it make a difference? Should you go one step further and send an intro video? Here we take a look at the benefits and offer some advice.

As the UK’s fastest-growing, privately-owned multisector recruitment agency, we appreciate how daunting it can be to job hunt at any time, let alone following the most extraordinary 18 months we’ll hopefully ever experience in our lifetimes. We’re here to guide you and have compiled some top tips to help you on your way in our 6 parts ‘The Ultimate Job Guide’.

In Part 1 we took a moment to think about true career paths, stop, take time out and reconsider where you are and where you’re going, and review how jobs you apply for might fit your skill set and what type of culture might suit you best.

Part 2 was about planning the Job Hunt, where to start, how to structure your time in preparation for the job hunt ahead.

Part 3 was all about social media and networking and how they can help you in your quest.

Part 4 tackled the CV and how to make it stand out from the crowd.

Going undercover

More often than not, a covering letter is more important than a CV, as it’s the first thing people read, and it can set you apart from the rest.

Tailoring the letter to different adverts and jobs you’re applying for is essential, as not all employers are looking for the same skills and achievements.  It’s worth reading some of the company literature to get a feel for their ‘voice’.   Are they formal or relaxed in their language and approach?  Try to mirror their style in your letter.

There are loads of fantastic templates and scripted examples available online, but try to make yours unique.  Everyone will use them to cut corners and make sure every cover letter is specific to each job.

Killer introduction

Start with a snappy opening introduction.  You will get your head in front if you have something that grabs attention – here are some suggestions:

  1. A piece of research about the business, show your knowledge about their current situation
  2. Shout about your achievement in an area of interest
  3. Express enthusiasm for the company
  4. Tell a story
  5. Quote someone famous in the industry
  6. Does the company have any pain points problems that you could solve

Then relate the above to you, your skills, background, experience, and an overview of your capabilities. Try not just to repeat the info in your CV.  Relate it to the job and why you’re perfect or the role. Think about how you approached the achievement you mentioned.  What’s your work ethic and passions?

Wrap it up

Finishing strong with a summary of your strengths, express that you are looking forward to hearing from them or meeting them and thank them for their time.

Video killed the radio star

A video cover letter is a fantastic way to demonstrate your communication skills and showcase your personality.  With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure you leave a great impression.

Script it out first. Remember, you should come across as natural as possible and not be reading it. Practise a few times until you are happy with how you sound. Remember to include:

  1. A short and persuasive opening statement
  2. Your quantifiable achievements
  3. Your skills and experience, tailored for the role you’re applying for
  4. A little bit of personality and tactful humour, if appropriate

Set the stage

  1. Dress the part
  2. Set the room up, so there are no distractions in view
  3. Banish kids, pets, partners
  4. Use your PC or laptop, NOT your phone
  5. Look at the camera; you want them to feel you are making eye contact
  6. Don’t move and fidget
  7. Make sure the room is bright with natural light
  8. Cameras make people nervous; practice! Use a friend or family member and make sure you feel confident online and seeing your face

Once recorded, you may wish to review and edit it to ensure it’s on point.  Once you’re happy with the final version, save it in a MOV or MP4 format.  These are compatible with most systems.  Then you’re all set to email it to the Hiring Manager with a short introduction.

Video cover letters may seem like a lot of effort, and being in front of the camera is not something many of us relish, but as someone once said, ‘No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.’

The Ultimate Job Guide

Follow us here to read the last instalment: Part 6 – Nailing the interview

Missed the other Parts?

Part 1 Uncover your career path, Part 2 – Job hunt planning, Part 3 – Social media and networking, Part 4 tackled the CV, to: to catch up.

Please turn to the Jobs section of The Cheltenham Post to see a selection of our latest jobs. Looking for something else? Why not take a look at our online jobs page…

Get in touch with us at: | 01242 896 022

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