Applying for any job, even one a prospective employee feels they’re perfect for is a stressful process. The cover letter has become a vital part of the application process, and it’s clear to see why. With the highly competitive nature of the job market, a cover letter needs to provide a great first impression. Some employers will use a cover letter as the first stage of the sorting process, and if they don’t like what they see, they may not even look at a CV.
Kristina Hutchins is one of the co-founders of Aesthetics Lab and having previously run aesthetics practices for over a decade before she joined with her two business partners to set up Aesthetics Lab in 2015, we asked her to share her insight as to what employers really look for in a cover letter.
Write a letter for the job they’re applying for
It’s crucial to write a unique cover letter for each job. A cover letter should be written and addressed to the company rather than a standard copy and paste the cover letter that is sent to everyone. Employers read enough cover letters each year to get a good idea of which ones are written for them specifically and which ones have been written to be sent out on mass.
What they can bring to the role
With any job, an employer wants to see what a candidate can offer and bring to the role. A cover letter should highlight their skills, which the CV should reinforce. This is a candidate’s opportunity to talk themselves up and start to convince an employer they are right for the job. All employers want to know what potential employees can do for them, and the cover letter is an excellent way of starting to show them.
Indicate they know about the company
Showcasing they have some knowledge of the company they are applying to goes a long way. Employers aren’t looking for them to write the history of the company in their cover letter but showing they have taken the time to do some research on who the company is their USP, and the values the company has is always appreciated.
Show passion for the industry
Often the interview is seen as where candidates can show their passion for a job, but the cover letter can do this too. An employer wants to know from the start of the application process that this is a job they really want. If an employer gets a sense that a candidate is passionate about the job and is not just waiting to turn it on in an interview, it gives them more confidence and reason to interview that person.
Make them want to read the CV
The ultimate test of a cover letter is if it convinces an employer to read the CV attached. The basic elements such as grammar have to be correct, and it should give the employer a sense of the candidate’s personality and explain a little about them before explaining in more detail in the CV.