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Write your cover letter so it stands out from the rest!

Write your cover letter so it stands out from the rest!

It’s common to spend a lot of time perfecting your CV, but your cover letter can easily be overlooked.  If you currently use a standard template for every role, today is the day to stop!

As recruiters, myself and the PN Personnel team read a lot of cover letters. If you are serious about the vacancy you are applying for, you need to spend the time to tailor your cover letter.

There is a lot of competition for jobs at the moment, if you are one of 100 applying for a vacancy, try these steps to stand out from the other 99: 

  1. Address it to the hiring manager by their name.
    I know a lot of recruiters who immediately discard any application if the cover letter begins "to whom it may concern" or "Dear Hiring Manager". Take the time to find out who to address your letter to, normally this information will be included in the job advert, but if it is not, google or give the company a call to find out, and check you have the spelling correct.

    If you are applying for one of PN Personnel’s advertised jobs – our contact details are always included so no excuses!

  2. Follow instructions.
    Often a job advert will ask you to share specific details in your application. This is a strategy often used to filter those applicants who are genuinely interested in the vacancy, from those who are sending out bulk applications.  If you have specific instructions, follow them – this is the easiest way to stand out and not only demonstrate your attention to detail but your willingness to follow and take instruction.

  3. Catch their attention with a meaningful opening sentence.
    Cut to the chase, be upfront and honest as to why you are interested in the position/company and what it is about the position that interests you.

    Try something like “I’ve always wanted to work for a small family owned business like (enter name of company) because I believe my knowledge of (relate your skills back to the company) can add value to your team.

  4. Spell it out.
    Include your reasons as to why you think you will benefit the company, what is your value proposition? Address the points in the job description. This lets the recruiter know you have the skills and motivation to do the role.

  5. List some (but not all) of your past achievements and your strengths.
    Don't list all your employment history – this can be read in your CV. You do want to demonstrate your achievements but the employer only needs to know the ones relating to the vacancy.

  6. Keep it short, be on point and don’t forget to add a call to action at the end.
    “I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this position (name the position) further and can be contacted on (add your mobile number).

Finally, run the spell check or ask a friend or family member to check for grammar and spelling before you send it off. 

If you are applying for one of our roles at PN Personnel ask us for feedback.  We are happy to provide constructive criticism so your cover letter can stand out.

Visit careers.govt.nz or Seek for advice and template examples.

Robyn Bills

Robyn Bills

Robyn brings with her a wealth of local knowledge and connections. She has worked in a range of businesses and industries including; account management/sales (both locally and nationally), healthcare, media, real estate, manufacturing and NZ tourism. This gives Robyn the ability to draw on personal experience and apply these skills to your business or personal situation.

Phone 06 280 2401 Mobile 027 699 9077 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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(06) 356 6091 Fax: (06) 356 6071

53 Princess Street, Palmerston North 4410
PO Box 594, Palmerston North 4440


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