You have come across the vacancy of your life and are eager to fill the recruiter’s job interview. Fantastic, but… you still have to get your invitation for that job interview. No better way to increase your chances for an interview than with a good cover letter! These tips will get the job done.
Personal cover letter
Recruiters see a lot of resumes and motivation letters passing by every day. Anyone who sends an impersonal, standard motivation letter is guaranteed to fall through the basket. Unpack with the knowledge you have read on the company website and convince the recruiter why you are the ideal person to fill that specific position.
Make sure that not only the content of the letter is tailored to the vacancy, but also the address of the letter. Try to find out in advance who is responsible for recruitment within the company. Sometimes the name of the recruiter is mentioned in the vacancy, but in other cases, it suffices to quickly call the company in question to find out that information. Always avoid sending your letter to a general email address.
Do you have an acquaintance that told you about the job? If so, don’t forget to mention it in your letter! A personal link will ensure that the interest of the recruiter is stimulated and that your letter ends up at the top of that mountain of motivation letters. Score!
Clear cover letter
No more complicated structures and old-fashioned words. Don’t make it unnecessarily difficult for the recipient of your cover letter! Would you like to end up in a company that is known for its loose, informal atmosphere? Adjust your writing style, but make sure you don’t come across as too informal. The reverse is also true: if you know that you will end up in a rigid environment, you should also take this into account when writing your cover letter. Find the right balance between your own style and that of the company.
Don’t forget to check your cover letter (several times) for writing errors. If you leave a typo-error in your motivation letter, you will often see your chances of having an interview disappear like snow in the sun. And we think it would be a shame to see your dream job pass you by because of a stupid mistake.
A cover motivation letter is easy to read and screen. Make sure there is enough white space between the paragraphs, choose a standard font and do not add too conspicuous colours to your letter. A cover letter is and remains a business document.
Always start with a concrete introduction, by stating which vacancy you are applying for and why.
You can then use the middle of the letter to explain your relevant (work) experience and to give the recruiter some more information about yourself. Again, try to be a bit more original than the average applicant. So, don’t say “I’m a real team player”, but change tack and mention a personal anecdote. Maybe you are the person who decorates everyone’s desk when there is a birthday to celebrate? Or maybe you were head leader of a youth movement for years and were able to further develop your leadership qualities? Make it clear to the recruiter why you can add value to the company/health department!
Keep it short and simple
A cover letter is not a written repetition of your resume. Think of it as an opportunity to supplement or explain your resume, in case things don’t speak for themselves enough. In addition, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to expose your personality more than in your resume. Make use of this, but keep it concise.
The ideal length of a cover letter varies between half a page and A4. Don’t you have more to tell? If so, mention it in your cover letter so that you can stimulate the recruiter’s curiosity. This way you will be one step closer to the job interview!
Closing the letter with an uncertain “I hope I can come and explain my motivation in a personal conversation” is not a good idea. Prove that you are firmly in your shoes and that it would be a shame for the company in question to ignore your motivation letter. You should therefore end your letter more confidently with “I would like to explain my motivation in a personal interview soon”. The difference between the two examples is minimal but can be decisive for the recruiter to invite you.