How To Write And Personalise Your Cover Letter For Each Job Application
Published 13th April, 2023
When you are looking for work, it’s often the case that you will be putting together multiple job applications, which means you will need multiple cover letters and CVs to send out to prospective employers. While writing a one size fits all cover letter would be nice, it’s very important to ensure every application you submit includes a personalised cover letter.
At The Career Academy, we like to support our students as they begin their journey into work – or towards a promotion – that’s why we have a dedicated Career Centre, which you can access once your enrolment is confirmed.
Check For Direction
Often a Job Description (JD) will contain specific instructions you need to follow; there may be a request for a certain piece of information, an instruction to provide something extra or a directive around submitting your application.
A personalised cover letter will show the person reading that you have thoroughly understood what has been asked of applicants. Be careful to read the JD more than once and include all the required details. Directing your letter to the wrong person or missing something vital will likely stop your application from progressing immediately.
Research The Company and the Role
The more you know about the company and the role, the easier it will be to write your personalised cover letter. Fortunately, most businesses now have an extensive online presence, and this type of research is fairly simple.
Start by visiting the website, notice the values discussed, the type of language they use, and the promises they make to their customers. Note down any keywords that pop up on their website, and be sure to include them in your cover letter.
Perhaps you are preparing a personalised cover letter for aged care positions; you may find words like ‘independent’, ‘connected’ and ‘vibrant’ often used by the facility advertising the job; try and work these words and ideas into your cover letter.
You can also check social media to get a good idea of the company’s culture; here, you will see whether you need to be strictly formal in your personalised cover letter or take a slightly more casual approach.
Address the Hiring Manager by Name
The old-fashioned ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is no longer necessary. Your personalised cover letter needs to start with a personal greeting. While not every Job Description will include a name to address your personalised cover letter to, there is likely a hiring manager named on the website.
If this is not the case, try LinkedIn, and if you have no joy there, just give the company a quick call and enquire with them directly. This shows that you care about making a good impression and that you show initiative – it may even bump you up the pile of applications.
Keep It Brief
Your personalised cover letter should generally be around three to five paragraphs, and it should then finish with a call to action. Begin by introducing yourself, and make sure your lead sentence immediately highlights your suitability for the role.
You can name the role and pinpoint your primary qualification for the job, then mention an innovation or accomplishment of the business, or just say something nice about their product or service. A quick Google search for any awards or recent positive news stories may give you some unique information to use here.
Let them see you recognise what they are looking for, relay your current work status, and then move on to the next paragraph.
Here you can expand on your qualifications and skills using phrases and keywords that you have noted in the Job Description – be sure to mention any computer software you have competency with that they have highlighted as necessary for the role.
The last paragraph should include a call to action and express that you look forward to hearing from them and would love to interview for the position.
Check Your Letter, Then Check it Again
Sending off a personalised cover letter with a spelling mistake or clunky grammar will generally see you out of the running for most jobs. While you may have spell checked your cover letter and read and reread it many times, these errors can still slip through.
It pays to have a third party read your personalised cover letter before you hit the send button on your application. You can ask a clever friend or family member to take a look, or you can chat with our team at the Career Centre about ensuring that you have ticked all the boxes – we can also hook you up with free CV Templates.
Get In Touch
Contact the friendly team at our Career Centre now for help and advice, tips and tricks and a free personalised CV review.
We can direct you to authentic job listings and help you get on your way towards becoming unstoppable!