I actually shouldn’t complain about this, as it makes my job of recruiting much, much easier. 30% of applicants do not attach a Cover Letter, and a further 35% use a standard template with a boring/bland opening line that doesn’t address the job specification needs. This means that on average, I only have to actually read the CV/Resume through of one in three applicants – the other two thirds have excluded themselves through not paying attention to detail. Let us hope for your next job application and my time management that they don’t learn those lessons!
In an example today, I have picked out a “fill in the boxes” template which breaks many of the basic rules of How To Write A Cover Letter:
- Read the advert/brief from the introducer
- Do your research on the company
- Include your name, address and contact details
- Write to a specific person, on one piece of paper
- Use a power opening sentence
- Three/four paragraphs maximum, the last of which includes a “call to action”
- Sign your letter
- Read your whole job application through at least twice, and get at least two friends to read it through. If in doubt, read it again!
- Send it in the post at least three days before closure date
- Ensure you follow up
Today’s example also has a number of positive comments on both the blog, as well as at Social Book Marking sites like StumbleUpon. In my opinion, education is good – it is probably why you are reading this blog and entry – but I wish people would do a little bit more than just follow the first thing they come across: because, it may be wrong!
Here is a of this example
(Name of Application Coordinator)
(Company Name)(Company Address)(Company City)
In support of my application for the …………………………… position; I wish to briefly outline my background.
I am extremely keen, enthusiastic and experienced (whatever profession you are currently in) with a genuine passion for the profession and helping people succeed.
My earlier years were spent attending (rural/city) schools as a student at (names of Elementary/Primary schools attended), and at (High School/Secondary School attended) during my teens. I attended the (name of University/College) from (date attended) and completed a (Bachelor of …………. /Masters in ………….. /Doctorate in ………….)
On leaving the (name of University/College), I was accepted to a position at ……………………., in (city) where I worked as a …………………… for ……………………. number of years and enjoyed it immensely. During my ……………………. year at (Company you worked for), I felt like I needed a new challenge and applied for ……………………… where I was accepted to a position in (Job Title/Doing/City)
(Repeat if necessary)
I was able to learn a lot about myself and my abilities as a (Job Title) during my years there.
During the time I have been in employment, I have come to a number of conclusions about myself.
People in my company feel welcomed, and are comfortable and happy in their environment. They enjoy my approach which is balanced and inclusive to all. The facilitation and guidance I provide is at each individuals level of understanding and expressions of ideas are encouraged. Constructive feedback and support is readily available. Colleagues feel that they can approach me for help, guidance, and general inquiries and find that I can provide insight and reassurance of their abilities.
I am happy and appreciative to be in a working environment each and everyday and colleagues realize this through my efficiency, my appearance, my demeanor and the comfortable atmosphere I create.
I believe that if I were to obtain the position (Job Title), colleagues and community members would be inspired, organized, and receive expert advice and guidance.
I believe I meet and exceed all of the criteria to become (Job Title) and my experience, personality, and attitude would be an asset for (Company Name).
I look forward to a response to my application.
Now, if all you were looking for was a “fill in the blanks” Sample Cover Letter, please copy the above and paste it into MSWord. However, if you don’t want a “thank you for your application…..” letter, please read on:
- Read the advert/brief from the introducer: possible, I don’t know but the words used are generic so it suggests not – FAIL!
- Do your research on the company: possible, I don’t know but the words used are generic so it suggests not – FAIL!
- Include your name, address and contact details: Yes – PASS!
- Write to a specific person, on one piece of paper: it doesn’t look like this format would fit on one piece of paper – FAIL!
- Use a power opening sentence: no, and as they didn’t use a header line, they had to create an opening – FAIL!
- Three/four paragraphs maximum, the last of which includes a “call to action”: each point seems to have its own paragraph, and even without repeating as suggested, in the basic format there are ten paragraphs – FAIL! The call to action is not really a call to action – FAIL!
- Sign your letter: but no instruction included to make it black ink – FAIL!
- Read your whole job application through at least twice, and get at least two friends to read it through. If in doubt, read it again: no recommendation to do so – FAIL!
- Send it in the post at least three days before closure date: no recommendation to do so – FAIL!
- Ensure you follow up: the “call to action” leaves the appropriate action decision in the hands of the recruiter/HR person, so – FAIL!
I hope the guidance in this blog will have enabled you to not only write your own Cover Letter, but if you do decide to take the Lazy Man’s Way To Riches and download a Sample Cover Letter from a website on the internet, that you could have undertaken the same assessment – and hence recognised that your application would be rejected.
Tags: #cover letter