Below we discuss whether or not writing a cover note can really make you more likely to secure an interview.

Searching the Internet for relevant vacancies, reading through job specifications and tailoring your CV to each role is a time-consuming process. It’s therefore tempting for many of us to skip over the option to add a cover note to our application. Does this really matter however?

Below we discuss whether or not writing a cover note can really make you more likely to secure an interview.

The importance of writing a cover note

It creates a good first impression

If you’ve taken the time to write a cover note, this shows the recruiter than you’re keen. As well as creating a good first impression, it also helps you stand out from the competition.

Plenty of candidates skip this step because they think that with all the applications they receive, employers don’t bother reading them. Nothing could be further from the truth however with one survey revealing that the vast majority (78%) of executives think that cover notes offer value during the recruitment process.

You can make it personal

If you really want to impress a potential employer, use your cover note as an opportunity to tell them why you want to work for their company specifically. Mention what you know about the business, how you fit in with their values and why you think you’d be an asset to them.

You can also use this space to highlight the most relevant details about your skills, experience and credentials.

It’s also a good idea to mention any common interests. Say for example you’re applying for an IT role at a sportswear company. If you run half marathons or participate in other sporting events, by mentioning this you’re showing that you’re a good cultural fit for the brand.

It increases the chance of success

While not every employer requires candidates to write a cover letter, some won’t even consider an application without one. If there’s an option to write a cover letter and you don’t, recruiters will assume that you couldn’t be bothered which definitely isn’t the attitude they want from an employee.

Unless your cover letter is full of spelling and grammar mistakes, it doesn’t do any harm to write one so it’s well worth doing.

Top tips for writing a cover note

To ensure your application is noticed for all the right reasons, here are some great tips for writing your cover note:

  • Your cover letter shouldn’t simply be another version of your CV. It should provide specific evidence of your skills, what you will bring to the company and why you want to work there
  • Wherever possible, use numbers to show how you’ve added value to the previous companies you’ve worked for
  • Customise your cover letter. Recruiters will be able to spot a generic note that has been used across all your applications
  • Use keywords which have been mentioned in the job spec. If they’re looking for someone with strong leadership skills for example, make sure you mention this
  • While it’s not a good idea to highlight any skills or qualifications you don’t have, use this opportunity to point out the attributes you have which make up for this. Alternatively, perhaps you have transferrable skills or similar experience which may help
  • Double check for any errors because simple mistakes can put potential employers off

If you need help writing cover letters or with any other aspect of your job search, please contact us about our career coaching services. As well as job seeker support courses, we also offer career management and coaching which can be highly beneficial.