A covering letter gives you the chance to introduce yourself and demonstrate your suitability for the role. You need to tailor the covering letter to the job description and person specification in order to demonstrate that you have the necessary requirements. This will increase your chances of being invited in for an interview.
Effective covering letters will be no more than one side of A4, neatly laid out, typed, clear and straight forward, and free from spelling and grammar mistakes.
When approaching employers you need to think long and hard about the skills and attributes you possess and how you can sell these to potential employers. Lots of people will use the same boring approach to try and grab an employer’s attention so don’t be afraid to be a little different in order to stand out from the crowd.
In order to grab an employer’s attention you can use the same technique that is used in advertising:
Attention – Get the person’s attention.
Interest – Get the person’s interest
Desire – Leave the person with a desire to learn more about you
Action – Persuade the person to take action
You need to be persistent. If you ask plenty of open questions, you give the employer less opportunity to say no.
When calling employers asking them about vacancies you should follow these rules:
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are calling. Ask them, ‘have I caught you at a good time?’ This gives them less opportunity to say no
- Explain what experience you have and back this up with examples of your achievements from the sector you are in
- Be quite general about the experience you have until you know exactly what they are looking for
- Have a few tricks up your sleeve in case the person you are talking to is intent on getting you off the phone
- If they don’t have time to speak to you, ask them when would be a convenient time for them to talk
- If they don’t have a suitable position for you, you can ask them if they know of any other vacancies through their contacts. It is important to be really polite, so that you can have this person as a contact.
- At the end of the call, tell the person why you are calling, ending with a question that will lead to a positive response.
For support in finding employment please register for our Skills Support for Jobseekers programme, or use the contact form below to request more information.