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7 ways to improve your cover letter for a technology job
Covering letters are a great way to provide more context to your CV, whilst increasing your chances of securing an interview. Many technology employers request cover letters, yet some applicants do not see the added value they bring and consequently find themselves at the back of the queue for the position they’re applying for.
So what are the things to bear in mind when creating your cover letter that will help you stand out from the crowd? Technology recruitment specialist Damian Hayes provides his top 7 ways to improve your cover letter for a technology job below.
1. Customisation is the key
The more you can relate your skills and experiences to the hiring company, industry and its needs, the more likely you will differentiate yourself from the competition. You can seek out key pain points from the employer often in the application criteria and address each one. This will show to the employer your relevance and suitability to the role.
2. Clearly show your passion
Cover letters can often be quite dull and transactional to read, but there is a real opportunity for you to express your passion and desire for working in the position and company you have applied for.
Rather than making the cover letter all about yourself, you should be catering to the hiring organisations needs and showing how interested you are to use your skills to help them solve their problems. For example, “This position will allow me to combine my interests in IoT, skills in data science and developing algorithms to support your IoT product.”
3. Highlight your accomplishments
To employers, past success is a good way to predict your future performance. Including relevant career accomplishments to demonstrate to the employer previous successes will really add value to your cover letter.
Here’s an example of how a Solutions Architect could describe the benefits of their past work: “In 2017, I designed and delivered a technology solution that increased customer satisfaction and improved the efficiency and profitability of system x. This has resulted in cost savings totalling £1million since the implementation.”
4. Include relevant key words
Inevitably, recruiters and hiring managers will be scanning potentially 10’s/100’s of cover letters and the time critical nature of many hires means that they will be more likely to take time reading your cover letter if the key skills relevant to the job on offer are near the top. If the job description requests an expert in .NET development the skills and experience relevant to .NET should be mentioned near the top of the cover letter.
5. Stick to your strengths
It’s much better to provide good examples of your strengths and avoid exaggerating any skills that are mentioned in the job description which you do not possess. Massaging the truth may come back to haunt you at the interview stage or worse, on the job and you’ll be much more confident if you know that you’ve reached the interview based on your existing competencies.
6. Be Concise
As mentioned in point 4, recruiters and hiring managers are under time pressure to fill vacancies so making information clear and easily digestible is a great way to keep their attention. Using a combination of paragraphs and bullet points in your cover letter allows you to be both descriptive and concise. For example, a couple of sentences describing a project you’ve worked on followed by a list of skills that you used on the project is a good format to follow.
7. Check and double check
Grammatical and spelling errors in a cover letter are likely to impact your chances of making it to the interview stage. In many technology positions, attention to detail is a vital ingredient for job success, so any silly mistakes will not look good in your cover letter. Always read through your cover letter before sending and even better, ask a peer to review it before you send as often we become blind to our own mistakes.
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