Writing a compelling cover letter

Published: 22 Nov 2016

At CV Writers we conducted a study of HR professionals and recruiters and found opinions differed on the value placed on a cover letter. Two thirds of those surveyed said they would read a CV regardless of whether a cover letter was included, whilst the remaining one third said they would only read a CV if a cover letter was sent as part of the application. As a job seeker, it is therefore not advisable to take the risk so always include a cover letter with your CV.

Keep it concise

Three to four paragraphs is about the right length. If your cover letter has strayed to a second page then you may be going into too much detail. It is worth remembering, your CV and cover letter are there to earn you an interview, not score the job. You need to expand key points and strengths you believe are important for the reader to be conscious of - but keep it concise.

What to include in your letter

As a building services engineer, you need to make sure you match the requirements of the person specification of the job you are applying for. Your application will be measured against this. Therefore, it is essential that you read the person specification carefully and provide evidence of how, where and when you fulfil the requirements. Concentrate on what are the main points in the specification and those that are affiliated most to your achievements.

Use examples

We can all say we can do something, but can we prove it? Your cover letter will be much more appealing if you can use specific examples of achievements as evidence. Additionally, if you are aware of the results and can articulate these as facts and figures then this will be very helpful.

The call to action

The aim of your cover letter is to compel the recruiter to engage closely with your CV. Only after reading your CV will any decision be made about calling you for an interview, so ensure you sign off by politely pointing the reader to your CV to find out more.

This article is written by CV Writers, the official CV writing partner to CIBSE Jobs. In addition to a CV writing service they also publish Perfect CV, a professional CV writing toolkit that includes a professional CV template, video guides and a CV checking service.

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