Whilst your CV acts as a general introduction to who you are and what you can do, your cover letter is your opportunity to really set yourself apart from your peers. Whilst your CV lists things such as your qualifications, skills and experience, your cover letter is your chance to showcase your personal brand, explain the impact you have had in your previous roles beyond what responsibilities you held, and prove why you are the perfect candidate.
Like your CV, this isn’t the place for you to tell recruiters every single thing about you, but rather to engage them and convince them to find out more by inviting you to an interview. If your cover letter is too long, recruiters aren’t likely to read through everything, and if it’s too short it could seem that not much effort has gone into it.
Generally, you should keep your cover letter no longer than one page, with the text broken down into logical paragraphs. Here is an example of a good way to break down your cover letter:
- Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself and outline your interest in the role, with a note on how you came across it.
- Paragraph 2: Give an overview of some of your key achievements, using statistics to give them depth and context, and relay the relevance of these to the role.
- Paragraph 3: Give more depth about your interest in the role/company, with a statement on why you’d be the perfect fit.
- Paragraph 4: Closing paragraph reiterating your interest and suitability, and thanking the recruiter for their time.
More advice on CVs and cover letters can be found here.