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What is a Cover Letter and Why is it Needed?

Posted on 17 May, 2022

Many job applications – including those for our interior, furniture and product design jobs – often require a cover letter to accompany your CV or resume. A lot of applicants wonder about the purpose of such a letter, since all the pertinent information regarding their skills, experience and qualifications are contained in the accompanying CV.

In this article, we’re going to discuss what is meant by a cover letter, and what purpose it serves as part of the job application process.

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a single-page document addressed to the recruiter, hiring manager or whomever is interviewing you at the company. It is a summation of your CV, briefly explaining who you are, why you are interested the role, and why you believe you are a suitable candidate (obviously, with reference to your experience and skills).

What is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?

Think of a cover letter as a statement of intent and sales tool. It is likely the first time any prospective employer will read your name or learn anything about you. It’s your calling card, if you like – a chance to make a good impression right off the bat. After all, your CV is normally a rather dry listing of your qualifications and achievements. Your covering letter gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how your experience and skills align with the job on offer.

What Makes a Good Cover Letter?

A good cover letter is something that makes the hiring manager or recruiter sit up and take notice of your application. A well-written and constructed letter vastly improves your chances of being invited to an interview. These are a few things you should strive to include:

The right point of contact: most vacancy adverts will include the name of whomever is processing applications. Be sure to address your letter to the right person. If the vacancy doesn't include a contact point, it's best to begin with to whom it may concern.

Where you are and where you want to be: if you are currently employed, briefly explain your position and why you want to leave. Try to be positive about the role you’re applying for, rather than negative about the role you wish to leave.

Know your target: let the company know that you understand who they are and what they do. This demonstrates that you have done your research and that you are committed to the role. A very important fact which a lot of candidates miss when writing a cover letter.

Prove you’re a good match: this is a chance to explain why you are right for the role. This includes why you are interested in working for the company and why the company should be interested in you.

Highlight and tailor your skills and qualifications: whilst these are listed in your CV, your cover letter will determine if a hiring manager even gets that far. Point out some key skills and traits that make you particularly suited to the role.

Keep it brief – make it neat: a cover letter should take up no more than a single side of A4. Be sure to check it thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors.

Invite further dialogue: a polite way to end your letter is to simply state that you look forward to hearing from the employer, or meeting them for an interview. It shows you are engaged and looking to move forward. Also let them know about your availability both for an interview and potential starting date.

Remember that we can help so do register with Careers in Design. Not only will you then have access to our portfolio of design job vacancies, but our team will help you craft the perfect cover letter. Sign up today for more details and assistance.
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