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Application Letter In the days when all applications were sent by post, the cover letter was the first chance you had to ‘wow’ a prospective employer. Now with most CV’s being sent by email, the cover letter is often overlooked as a vital tool.  The letter will most likely be read before your CV, so it much be used to entice the reader to take a detailed look through your CV. If done properly, your covering letter can make the difference between success and failure.

The most important advice that can be given when writing a cover letter is that you ensure that it is personal. Most employers are used to generic templates and are tired of mail-merged letters that have been sent to a hundred different places.

At the very least, if you are sending your CV to multiple locations then make sure that the name of the addressee is changed.  To whom it concerns or Dear Sir/Madam will not suffice. Try to find out exactly who will be dealing with your application and what their title is. You can do this by checking on the internet, or even ringing the company and asking.

Ideally you should write a separate letter to suit each job that you are applying to. You need to convince and employer why you want and are suited to THAT job, not A job.

Addressing a cover letter

Write your address (and contact details) in the top right hand corner. This information should also be on your CV, but there’s no harm doubling up. Following this, write the name and address of your employer.

Opening a cover letter

Make sure it is clear what position you are applying for. Recruiters are often covering many vacancies at one time and can get easily confused as to which applicant is applying for which job.

For example:  "I am writing to you regarding the ‘Sales Manager' position that was recently advertised on your website, and would be most grateful if you would consider my application for this position"

Include any reference numbers provided to make it easy for them.
 

The content
 

Make clear to your prospective employer what exactly it is about the job that attracts you. Again, the key is to deal in specifics. Why are you passionate about the role?

Then detail why you are perfectly suited to their company and the position that they are offering.  Discuss your strengths and qualifications that are directly relevant to the role but make sure that you don’t repeat the content in your CV word for word. This is not a place to repeat the qualifications and employment history which are detailed on your CV, this is your chance to argue why those factors are relevant to THIS role. Why do all the skills which you have detailed on your CV prove that you would be invaluable to their company. An example of how you can do this would be to pick the main responsibility they’re looking for you to undertake in the role and give an example of why you’re the person they’re looking for. If there are specific requirements that are mentioned in the job description, use these terms when describing yourself.

You may also want to include a ‘next step’ for your reader, such as “To see how I could take your sales to the next level, please refer to my CV to see the success I had while working for my previous employer.” This clearly points the employer to the part of your CV that you think will persuade them to give you the job.

Keep the length of your cover letter to a minimum. Two short paragraphs should be plenty. You want to be as punchy as possible as your reader will probably be a very busy person with limited time to trawl through a long letter. Concise and compelling is the way to go. If you waffle in your cover letter you will convey to an employer that you are disorganised and lacking focus. Be sure to constantly consider what you want the first impressions of you to be.
 

Closing a cover letter
 

Finish off by stating clearly when you are available for interview. If there is no set starting date, it is a good idea to make a note of the earliest you can begin working. You should also welcome the prospective employer to contact you if they need any further information. If you are printing the letter out rather than emailing it, then sign it below your typed name for an added level of professionalism.

 


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HR and General Manager, THK

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

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Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

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A. Callaby, Candidate

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M. Green, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dawrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard on securing my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

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Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

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Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

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I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

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