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Some people say that traditional cover letters are dead, and candidates no longer need to submit one with their CV. I disagree. I used a cover letter when I was last a jobseeker for a very important reason.

I used my cover letter to ensure that I stood out in a very competitive crowd and to ensure I was not overlooked. I found that applying to jobs in the UK whilst based overseas was very tricky. Most recruiters would see my international dial code and rule me out, or during a screening interview would say that they are not hiring ‘overseas candidates’. As a British citizen capable of booking my own flight back to the UK I needed a way of ensuring that recruiters stopped seeing my location as a negative! My cover letter allowed me to do this. I was able to explain why I was working abroad, why I wanted to return, and when I would in the UK for interview.

This cover letter, and an excellent recruiter at SAP, meant that the application and selection process with SAP was a breeze! So, if you want to stand out in a crowd of CVs, here are some cover letter tips.

Your Cover Letter is Not Your CV

Your CV covers your name, working history and education so there’s no need to repeat this on your cover letter. Don’t introduce yourself or cover the same details the hiring manager will read in your CV. The cover letter is your chance to stand out and talk about what you can achieve in the future.

Tell the Story

You want the prospective hiring manager to understand how you can make an impact on their business and what you want from the future. Use the cover letter to tell this story, but don’t go too far…

Don’t Go On

The cover letter should not be too long and you want to be able to go in to details in your interview. Use the cover letter as an introductory ‘hook’ and leave the hiring manager wanting to know more about you.

Don’t Use Jargon

You want your cover letter to be a personal note and not a generic introduction to your CV. Tailor the letter to your audience by referencing specific company achievements or simply by using the hiring manager’s name. Avoid using jargon and buzzwords as these can make the letter sound too impersonal.

Stand Out

Most importantly you want to stand out in a way that reflects your personality but remains professional!

Now you have the top tips for a killer cover letter get writing! You can set up a template and adapt to different opportunities – and good luck getting that interview!

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