Writing a cover letter seems to be a daunting act for so many – I have previously written about what to include but wanted to provide an example letter to assist you in gaining interest from potential employers. Cover letters should be tailored to each application and it is a good idea to spend time making sure you tailor your CV too. Unfortunately, gone is the day when one size fits all so taking time to apply for fewer jobs but putting more effort in will give you a better chance of success for generating interest and that all important interview.
Here is a fictitious job advert:
Project Manager required to manage a number of new product development projects within FMCG manufacturing, the successful applicant will have a good understanding of project management methods such as PRINCE2 and will have managed teams within matrix managed environments which are globally dispersed.
- Exceptional project planning using MS Project
- Manage resources across different cultures
- Competent in PRINCE2 methods
- Good client facing exposure
- Extensive financial tracking and management responsibility
- Comfortable providing monthly presentations to site managers and senior management teams
Of course the tailored letter for this role is only applicable to those with at least 90% of the above required skills and experience. This is a rule of thumb for all job applications; don’t waste your time applying for roles which are not relevant to you.
So a cover letter will go something like this:
Dear Sir / Madam (ideally try to get the name of the person you are applying to)
Please find enclosed my CV in application for the role of Project Manager as per your advert (reference CVR2905) advertised on XXXXXX.com.
I would like to draw your attention to my current role at XXXXX where I am responsible for managing up to 15 concurrent FMCG new product introduction projects, although PRINCE2 is not a process used at this organisation I have previously used this method at XXXXX where the business adopted a light version and all projects were managed through aspects of the project lifecycle. I should also point out that during a contract position prior to this I implemented PRINCE2 methods into the core project management function within XXXXX.
All my roles have required extensive stakeholder management with internal and external parties based across the UK, Europe and USA. Most of my team management experience has been within matrix environments and where resources are globally dispersed. I am an advanced user of MS Project and have used this to plan projects for the past 10 years; I have held full P&L responsibility for all my projects with budgets ranging from £100k to £1.5m. I currently provide bi monthly presentations to our senior management team on project status, financials and forecasting – these are generally utilising Powerpoint and on site however I have also travelled to a number of our manufacturing sites for this purpose also.
I am available on my mobile to discuss further and look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Yours Faithfully (if you do not know their name) / Yours Sincerely (if you do know their name)
So as you can see – the letter addresses all aspects of the job description with examples and tells the reviewer more than the CV allows as we only want a 2 or 3 page document which should be highlighting the above but may not have all that detail. This will greatly enhance your application and should do all the right things in getting the reviewer to really read your CV not just skim through it along with 100 other applications. It also does the trick of helping the HR / recruitment consultant understand your relevance to the role; bearing in mind that a great deal of these reviewers won’t always have specialist knowledge of the role.