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Cover Letter job application

  • 24-02-2021 1:22pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 799 ✭✭✭ I am me123


    Does anyone have any tips on writing a cover letter for a job application?
    I always think a lot of the information one could include is usually all on the enclosed cv.
    What should be included as a rule of thumb?
    Anyone have any examples?
    Thank you in advance.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,071 ✭✭✭ RedXIV


    it seems to be a dying thing. We certainly don't look for them where I work and I haven't used one for a very long time.

    Potentially I could see the use if you needed to explain something like why the last 3 jobs were less than 3 months each or why you were applying to a completely different role than your experience dictated but if you've solid experience for a role you're applying for, I'd just stick with the CV these days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 601 ✭✭✭ RandRuns


    I am me123 wrote: »
    Does anyone have any tips on writing a cover letter for a job application?
    I always think a lot of the information one could include is usually all on the enclosed cv.
    What should be included as a rule of thumb?
    Anyone have any examples?
    Thank you in advance.

    Dear Hiring Manager,

    I wish to apply for the position of [Town Dog Catcher] as advertised.
    I have extensive experience in [Catching Dogs], including [brief outline of impressive-sounding dog catching related stuff].
    I attach a copy of my current CV, giving more detail on my [Dog Catching related] skills and experience, and would welcome the opportunity to expand on this in an interview.

    Yours Sincerely,

    [A Dog Catcher]


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    Let's assume it's a job for a software tester and in the requirements they say you must have Windows 10 experience, SQL experience, and knowledge of Firefox. (??) Requires 5 years experience. The job is at LinkedIn.

    Example cover letter:

    Dear [HIRING MANAGER'S NAME - FIND THIS BY RINGING THEM]

    I would like to apply for the Software Testing position as advertised on RecruitIreland.com.

    I have been working as a Software Tester at Microsoft for the past three years. Previous to this I worked as a Software Tester at Facebook for two years, and as a Software Tester (automation) at Twitter for one year.

    I have three years Windows 10 experience, and consider myself an expert in this area. I have used Firefox throughout my career (six years experience) and have been using SQL as part of my day to day job at Microsoft for the past three years.

    I truly enjoy working as a Software Tester, I have consistently received very positive performance reviews, and I would love the opportunity to work at LinkedIn as I know it is a great place to work.

    I have a degree in computer science and I am ISTQB certified.

    Please contact me on 087 1122334 or [email protected] to arrange an interview.

    Yours truly

    Firstname Lastname


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,650 ✭✭✭ Nigel Fairservice


    If there is a job/person spec try and write your cover letter around them and briefly demonstrate how you meet the main requirements.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭ Esse85


    Anyone that calls themselves an "expert" raises a red flag immediately.
    Do not refer to yourself as an "expert" in a cover letter.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    Esse85 wrote: »
    Anyone that calls themselves an "expert" raises a red flag immediately.
    Do not refer to yourself as an "expert" in a cover letter.

    This absolutely isn't true.

    Many jobs are looking for people with expertise in a subject(s).

    By refusing to admit you have expertise in a subject(s) is shooting yourself in the foot.

    I used to work in a recruitment company.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭ Esse85


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    This absolutely isn't true.

    Many jobs are looking for people with expertise in a subject(s).

    By refusing to admit you have expertise in a subject(s) is shooting yourself in the foot.

    I used to work in a recruitment company.

    Let other people call you an "expert" based on the value you delivered for them.

    True experts don't label themselves as experts, they let their results do the talking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    Esse85 wrote: »
    Let other people call you an "expert" based on the value you delivered for them.

    True experts don't label themselves as experts, they let their results do the talking.

    This isn't true at all and shows you do not understand recruitment.

    The purpose of your cover letter is to (a) make yourself stand out from the crowd and (b) sell yourself.

    By hiding the fact you're an expert in something you are failing (a) and (b) above.

    By all means continue to undersell yourself but anyone who takes your advice is lowing their chance of getting called to interview.

    Also, I have a real issue with your assertion that you're not allowed call yourself an expert on a topic.

    Btw, don't take my word for this, Yale University encourage you to literally state you're an expert in a subject: https://your.yale.edu/sites/default/files/maximizing_your_coverletter_guide_2016.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭ Esse85


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    This isn't true at all and shows you do not understand recruitment.

    The purpose of your cover letter is to (a) make yourself stand out from the crowd and (b) sell yourself.

    By hiding the fact you're an expert in something you are failing (a) and (b) above.

    By all means continue to undersell yourself but anyone who takes your advice is lowing their chance of getting called to interview.

    Also, I have a real issue with your assertion that you're not allowed call yourself an expert on a topic.

    Btw, don't take my word for this, Yale University encourage you to literally state you're an expert in a subject: https://your.yale.edu/sites/default/files/maximizing_your_coverletter_guide_2016.pdf

    Display your results and communicate how you achieved these results.
    Let the reader decide if your an "expert".

    The vast majority of actual experts do not have to self proclaim themselves as such.

    You sound exactly the type who would call themselves an "expert".

    If you have to point out your an expert, your really not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,650 ✭✭✭ Nigel Fairservice


    I think the context of the job you are applying for is important. If you were applying for a relatively low skilled job then maybe calling yourself an expert would be a bit over the top. If the job is a niche position or requires very specific specialised skills then maybe you could call yourself an expert if your skills are to that level.

    I don't think there a one size fits all cover letter anyway. I have been involved in a selection process before and you could tell between those who sent out stock cover letters and those who actually read the job description and put together a tailored cover letter.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16 meggiemegmeg


    I just go straight for a quick scan of the CV and don’t bother with the cover letters. They are generally all the same. Some CVs have a short paragraph of text at the top of page one. I like that as it can give a sense of the person.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Session2019!


    I have never used a cover letter, wouldn't ever bother with them. Even when reviewing C.Vs I always ignore a cover letter if there's one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37 SantaClaw


    I do regularly review applicants, mainly on the more junior side. The idea of a cover letter is not inherently bad, its just everyone just googles how to write one. And then they all sound the same and their purpose is defeated.

    That's one of the reasons we also have some additional questions on the website during the application process. At least we get some unique answers that way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    Esse85 wrote: »
    If you have to point out your an expert, your really not.

    Again, you're displaying no knowledge of the recruitment process.

    Somehow you think the recruiter or HR person or whoever will pick up you're an expert on a topic by briefly scanning your CV. They won't. You have to tell them and sell yourself.

    You have some weird issue here regarding talented people so I'm stepping out of this now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    I have never used a cover letter, wouldn't ever bother with them. Even when reviewing C.Vs I always ignore a cover letter if there's one.

    I just scanned your post history and you refuse to wear a suit to an interview and refuse to type a cover letter even when an application asks for one...

    I understand this can work, but you're not making things easy for yourself. Interviews and job applications are as much about excluding people as they are about hiring someone, so the best strategy is usually to present yourself as low risk as possible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭ Esse85


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    Again, you're displaying no knowledge of the recruitment process.

    Somehow you think the recruiter or HR person or whoever will pick up you're an expert on a topic by briefly scanning your CV. They won't. You have to tell them and sell yourself.

    You have some weird issue here regarding talented people so I'm stepping out of this now.

    Calling yourself an expert means absolutely nothing, just because you label yourself an expert, it doesn't mean you are one.

    I'm no expert in recruitment and neither are you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Session2019!


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    I just scanned your post history and you refuse to wear a suit to an interview and refuse to type a cover letter even when an application asks for one...

    I understand this can work, but you're not making things easy for yourself. Interviews and job applications are as much about excluding people as they are about hiring someone, so the best strategy is usually to present yourself as low risk as possible.

    I make things very easy for me actually. I'm well able to sell myself and my strengths without all this "appearance/box ticking" exercises that so many people are obsessed with. There's only been 2 occasions where I have been unsuccessful in interviews since I finished college and started working. My previous job before I changed I had 3 job offers to choose from.

    I make things very easy for myself and any potential companies that I may apply for.


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