Cover letters exist to provide an opportunity to highlight what is in your CV, furthermore it allows the capability to create a good first impression. It is best to keep your cover letter short and sweet – a maximum of four short paragraphs will be enough to get your point across.
Firstly do some research on the company you’re applying for, this will allow you to use the style and terminology that is appropriate to that specific audience. It will emphasize to the employer you have considered the skills they want and thought how you could provide them, it also demonstrates that you’ve took a real interest to the company. It is worth noting that you must be specific. The letter should be short enough for the employer to read but enough to stand out and catch the employers attention.
To point out the obvious, when scripting a cover letter try to address the person handling the applications;
Dear Mr Smith – If you know the person who will be reading your letter.
Dear The Student Lawyer – If you are only aware of the company.
The opening paragraph should be short and hard hitting. Start with a punch line, make it clear why you want the position and why you’re right for that position. For example: ‘I would like to be considered for the position of ….. I am a well qualified ….. who would be an excellent choice for this position’.
In the second paragraph briefly explain what makes you stand out from the rest: why are you the right person for the company? Show you have passion and motivation that will aid you to excel in your role in the company. Explain how academic and professional achievements will support you, making you the perfect match for the position.
The third paragraph you should highlight what you can do for the company. How will hiring yourself benefit the company? Outline career goals (obviously making it relevant to the position ); where you see yourself in the future moreover your aspirations. You could also take the opportunity to elaborate on points in your CV that may be of relevance to the position you are applying for.
In the forth paragraph you should conclude on what is previously written. Emphasize your clear interest in the role and once more why you should be chosen rather than all the other candidates. Express how you look forward to hearing back from the employer also disclose how you would prefer to be contacted whether its by phone, email or post. Close the letter by signing ‘Yours sincerely’ and your name.