Finding a job when you've been out of work for a while can be a daunting and thankless task. To help make that process shorter, writing a fantastic cover letter can make your application stand out from the rest.
But how do you get noticed? Here are some easy tips to get you started.
Don't hide unemployment
Although it might be tempting to try and disguise the fact you've been out of work, this will invariably backfire on you should anybody decide to do any background checks.
If there's a legitimate reason for the unemployment - such as redundancy - simply describe the reason why you're unemployed, before explaining why you're ready to return to work, emphasising the fact you have the focus required to take on your next job.
If you've been using the time out of work valuably - such as by volunteering, or developing a new skill or hobby - take the opportunity to mention it here too.
Tailor your letter
Sending out more or less the same letter with every job letter may seem like a quick way to get lots of applications out there, but if you take the extra time to tailor each cover letter, it's bound to stand out from the generic crowd.
Take the time to research the company you're applying to, have a think about why you would like to work for them and include details about this in the letter. Say why the skills you have are appropriate for the specific role, and what you could bring to it.
It needn't take that long to make each cover letter different, and it'll be time well spent if it gets you called back for an interview.
Be enthusiastic, but avoid meaningless clichés
It can be tempting when you've been out of work for some time to go over the top in your application letter, exaggerating claims and highlighting skills which are so commonplace on letters that they've started to become meaningless.
Don't just write something like "I am equally skilled at working in a team or working individually," but instead quantify your statements, with actual evidence and statisitics. For instance, you might say, "During my time in the role, I worked well with other colleagues which led to my promotion to team leader."
Don't list ALL of your qualifications and experience
Many people make the mistake of writing a cover letter which is almost a replication of their CV. You don't need to waste space writing out each individual GCSE result in your cover letter.
If you want to mention your education, talk about the overall experience, or something specifically needed for the job you learned- then refer back to your CV by explaining that further details can be found on it.
Don't panic if you don't have any relevant experience
A period of unemployment can be a good opportunity to reassess the direction you want your career to go in and start applying for jobs you might not have previously considered.
However, if you don't have any directly relevant experience it might be tricky appealing to employers. To increase your chances, think about any hobbies or social activities that might be relevant, or, talk about specific areas of a previous job, or your education, that can apply.
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