The short answer is yes! You just need to think out of the box when it comes to writing them.
How many of you have started off a cover letter with something to the effect of:
"Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to apply for the position of Account Manager with the Smith Company".
Here's the thing, your cover letter is the best way to introduce to the hiring manager who you are, what you can bring to the company and why you want the job. The likelihood is that you'll be up against a number of other candidates so you need to make sure yours stands out. How do I do that we hear you ask? We've put together some ideas on how to write a killer cover letter. We don't recommend copying these examples however use these as a guide. Remember it's your story that makes you unique.
First impressions count
Your cover letter needs to be incredible from the beginning. After all, that first paragraph is the most important. Start with a strong opening paragraph that makes the hiring manager want to keep reading. Show that your truly passionate about what you do and why you're so excited to be part of the team. For example, if you're applying for a Junior Web Designer position, you could write something similar to the below:
"I've been designing websites for friends and family since I was old enough to work a computer and have decided it's time to get paid for doing what I love. That's why, when I found a Junior Web Designer position at the Smith company, I knew I had to apply".
Outline why you're the best person for the position
Once you've nailed your opening paragraph, develop three to five key points that show you understand that the company is looking for and how your background matches the position. Using the job description as a guide is a great tip here. Look for skills mentioned that you can use to provide an example of why you are right for the role.
Make a personal connection
Whilst we wouldn't recommend that you share something extremely personal here, we think it's a great idea to give the reader a connection that they wouldn't necessarily find on your CV. For instance, if you're applying for an Account Management position at a bakery, you may mention how you bake cakes in your spare time and love learning about new ways of baking. A story like this ties in directly with the job and shows you have a personal interest in the subject.
It's time to close
You may have heard that you need to go in with a hard close in your cover letter, boldly insist that you are the one and that you will call them within a week to arrange an interview. However, we would recommend that you don't do this. The closing paragraph should solidify your interest in the position whilst leaving it open for the hiring manager or recruiter to contact you. End with something similar to the below:
"I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for the Smith Company. I appreciate your consideration and hope to meet with you soon".
Lastly keep it short
Thinking back to the number of applications that a hiring manager may receive, it's likely that they will see a long cover and skip over it. A cover letter is simply what it says on the tin; to cover the subjects that are listed in more detail in your CV.
FGS Recruitment is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in recruiting sales and marketing jobs in our core markets of Digital Media, Learning & Development and Market Research. Keep up to date with our latest career advice articles and jobs by signing up to our newsletter and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.