Creating a Winning Job Cover Letter

Step 3

Research as a tool

A little research can help uncover a wealth of information, and will help you in constructing a more accurate and precise cover letter. Let's face it, without any research you will end up "Second Guessing" critical selection criteria that the recruiter / employer may have.

Head straight to the company website:
Employer websites offer a useful insight into that of the company, their market, and their business structure. News, update sections and company announcements all make for further reading. Although it's unlikely you'll need all this information, it will give you a better idea of how the position being advertised supports the business operations.

Search Google, LinkedIn, Wikipedia and other social media sites:
Social media and information networking sites offer extended coverage. Browsing employee LinkedIn profiles, reading company comments, and looking at company PR can all add a glimpse on what happens behind the brand. Don't get too destracted though, remember that you are looking for any information about the company, and more specifically about the division that is recruiting, and the job itself. Finding out what IT or Financial Systems they use, key clients, industries information, and the latest market news can all help you find similarities in your own background. This information can then be used to personalise your application further.

Using the research gathered:
Where possible, state the obvious! If you have found out that a company is actively involved in a market that you have experience in, then list this. If a company now uses a specific type of software that you use, list it. You're looking to insert straight forward comparisons. Make sure research is current, qualified and cross-referenced. There's nothing worse than inserting a statement that is no longer relevant to the company. Also, keep focused on relevance for the position being advertised.

Remember: Every job is different, and employers will instantly recognise a cover letter that has applied thought, knowledge and research.


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