Cover Letters, don’t under estimate their importance!!
You never get a second chance at a first impression and a great cover letter can really set you apart. Having a concise, personal and appropriate cover letter can be a very powerful tool in securing an interview.
Tips to generate a great Cover Letter & first impression:
Write a cover letter personally for each role that you apply for. Having a generic cover letter is often more of a hinderance than a help. We have received job applications where the candidate is applying for a sales role and the cover letter says that their passion is in hairdressing. Those applications are often disregarded prior to the resume even being opened. A great cover letter will include things like:
- Why you are suitable for the role
- How you satisfy the selection criteria
- Why you would value this role and how you would add value to it
- If you know the name of the person that you are applying to then address them personally.
How to write a powerful resume:
Resumes are your employment and education blueprint. There are a few fundamentals that should be considered:
- Never have gaps in a resume. If you had 12 months off, account for why that was. Its better for the employer to know that you were traveling than assume you were unemployed because you couldnʼt find another position.
- list: Title, Employer, Time in date and month and responsibilities and achievements. Have a look at our video on Resume Advise to get some great visual tips.
- Consider referees carefully and ask their permission.
- Name, address, contact details are a must.
- If you use a resume template, delete any unused fields.
We have included a few examples of resumes for your information, many more can be obtained via internet searches:
Address selection Criteria:
There are many examples of employment advertisments, here is just one:
The areas you might address in a cover letter may include:
- What your experience in Fleet Sales has been
- Why you value working in a privately owned group
- Why career progression plays into your “goals” and how that may help them or get the best out of you
- What client portfolio you have behind you.
If you look at the advertisment and put in bullet point what they require in a candidate and the things the role offers that are important to you then addressing selection criteria may be made easier.
If you are thinking of putting someone down as a referee then picking up the phone and talking to them can be integral in your success as a candidate. Ask them questions like:
- What do you think are my chances of career progression.
- Would you re employ me
- How well did I present myself
Try and stay impartial when they answer. Getting upset at their answers does not help you. The best referees will be honest with you and even though it might not be easy to listen to, it will help you in the long run.
You need to have a mix of business references. Previous employers are the most sort after or alternatively direct managers. Parallel managers in the group are the next most valuable and if none of these are practicable then possibly co workers. Keep in mind that the motor industry is relatively small and your new employer may know people at your last employer that you have not listed and may reference check you with them.