Drum roll, enter the underutilised cover letter.
The fact is, without a cover letter, you are relying on a couple of sheets of paper ONLY to show your value to a professional recruitment agency or the company your recruiter is connecting you with.
Your CV can highlight a lot of essential details about you, including prior experiences and current skills. However, most recruitment professionals will be on the lookout for that extra special “something” – and that is where your cover letter comes in.
The right cover letter places the ball in your court, increasing your odds of landing an interview by demonstrating your passion, communication skills, and willingness to go the extra mile.
Why Every Candidate Needs a Cover Letter
A cover letter is not just something that gives bulk to your CV. It provides the recruitment company you are working with extra information on your skills and experience. This means that they will be able to connect you with more relevant positions for your background.
A cover letter also helps you stand out when your recruitment company ‘sells you’ to their client, with a customised introduction to who you are, and what you can offer their brand. Think of it as your personal sales pitch, marketing your technology credentials, and making that all-important first impression.
When recruitment companies are looking for that ideal Salesforce consultant or tech expert to pitch to their client, they may use your cover letter in their screening process, looking for signs of the right attitude and understanding.
So, how do you create a killer cover letter?
1. Don’t Repeat the CV
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make when writing a cover letter, is to re-write what they have already said in their CV. Since your CV will accompany your cover letter wherever it goes, it is essential to make sure that it includes unique, useful information that a hiring manager or recruitment consultant will not be able to find by looking at your job or education history.
Tell a story about your experience in the industry, and why you are considering switching roles to work with this new brand. Is there something about this business that appeals to you, such as their company culture or the way they work? You can also research the business in-depth to sprinkle in some facts throughout your letter that shows you did your homework. For instance: “I notice you were one of the first businesses in my area to adopt XYZ…”
2. Keep it Short and Valuable
Less is more when it comes to cover letters. Aim for about three paragraphs – just enough to cover the first half of a page. While it’s helpful to give people a glimpse into your background, they won’t need your life story to decide whether you’re right for a position.
Jump straight into the good stuff by demonstrating how your skills and experiences will help the company in question to achieve their goals. For instance, if your recruitment consultant told you that a particular organisation is looking for a hire that knows how to adapt and problem-solve quickly, highlight how working in 90-day-cycles helps you to keep ahead of the curve. You can even include statistics that demonstrate the results you achieved in previous positions.
It’s all about demonstrating your strengths as quickly, and concisely as possible. Show your would-be employers or recruitment firms that you know what they’re looking for, and you are ready to deliver.
3. Unique and Custom is Key
Finally, many people still assume that they can merely staple the same cover letter onto each CV and it will work for any business. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Recruitment companies and their clients alike both want to see candidates that are excited about the opportunity to work for their business. This means that a canned cover letter will not cut it.
Demonstrate that you have taken the time to learn as much as you can about a company before writing your cover letter. This will help hiring managers to feel as though you’ve made certain you’re appropriate for the job before you applied for it.
Additionally, remember not to focus on the benefits that you think this role will bring to you. Recruitment agencies want to pass candidates to their client that are going to benefit the business and help them achieve incredible new things. Focus on demonstrating your value, and what you can bring to the role.
Today, a cover letter is so much more than an “extra part” on top of your CV; it’s your chance to highlight what makes you different from the other tech talent on the market competing for your dream job.
About Resource On Demand
Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.
We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills.
The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.
To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769