There is no doubt that one of the things that stumps people the most when they are applying for jobs is writing a confident cover letter.

This is a real challenge. You have a very short space (usually less than a page) to make a positive impression on your prospective employer. But even although it seems difficult you can make an impact with the right cover letter.

Your cover letter has to build the case for you, and why you should be employed. And this is a case when one size definitely will not fit all – make sure that you tailor each cover letter to the job that you are applying for.

Making it personal

Rather than start your letter dear sir or madam make it your mission to find out to whom the letter should be addressed. If your detective work fails then write, dear recruiter, or dear hiring manager.

First impressions

Your first paragraph should be something that the reader is drawn to and that makes them want to know more. Try to let them know if this is your dream job or if it is a passion of yours to work in a company like theirs. If someone referred you to the company mention their name in the first paragraph.

Tell it like it is

Let the company know why you want to work with them, this will go a long way to making them think favourably about you.

Using the lingo

Use keywords for the job or the company that you are applying to so that the recruiter or an applicant tracking system to pick up.

No repeats

Do not just list what you have in your CV in your cover letter. Be original and engaging if you want a chance of being spotted.

No mistakes!

Make sure that you have no spelling or other mistakes in your cover letter. Get someone else to read it if you need to – just make sure that it is perfect.

Good Luck!