Careers expert: The four things employers wish they could say about your cover letter

A career development expert has revealed the four things employers wish they could say about your cover letter.

Sue Ellson, from Melbourne, told FEMAIL that job seekers should always write a new cover letter for every job application, they should be clear and concise, address it to a specific person and mention skills relevant to the role.

A cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to your future employer and it can leave a great impression if written well. 

Sue Ellson told FEMAIL job seekers should always write a new cover letter for every job application, be clear and concise, address it to a specific person and mention skills relevant to the role (stock image)

Sue Ellson told FEMAIL job seekers should always write a new cover letter for every job application, be clear and concise, address it to a specific person and mention skills relevant to the role (stock image)

Sue Ellson told FEMAIL job seekers should always write a new cover letter for every job application, be clear and concise, address it to a specific person and mention skills relevant to the role (stock image)

Tailor the cover letter for every job

Sue Ellson (pictured) said a new cover letter should be written for each job applied for

Sue Ellson (pictured) said a new cover letter should be written for each job applied for

Sue Ellson (pictured) said a new cover letter should be written for each job applied for

Ms Ellson assured the importance of writing a new cover letter for every job application and identifying key information about yourself in accordance with the role.

‘Include the organisation name, job title, full address and, if possible, address it to a specific person if a name is mentioned in the job advertisement,’ she said.

This will show the employer you have researched both the company and position rather than sending through a generic cover letter that is tailored to no one.

Highlight the skills you have that are relevant for the role

Each cover letter should be written in accordance with the job application, and so job seekers should mention the skills they have that are relevant to the role.

Ms Ellson recommended reading through the job application and using similar words to what is written in the advertisement.

The skills mentioned should also be paired with examples as to how you can demonstrate that particular skillset.

Mention skills you don’t have

While job seekers may avoid discussing skills they don’t have with a potential new employer, Ms Ellson recommended pointing this lack of skills out and highlighting your eagerness to learn.

‘If there are any skills you don’t have, mention that you are happy to learn them via on the job or external training, or participate in additional professional development opportunities through peers or mentors,’ she said.

Ms Ellson recommended reading through the job application and using similar words on your cover letter to what is in written the advertisement (stock image)

Ms Ellson recommended reading through the job application and using similar words on your cover letter to what is in written the advertisement (stock image)

Ms Ellson recommended reading through the job application and using similar words on your cover letter to what is in written the advertisement (stock image)

Let the employer know why you are interested in the role

Job seekers should mention why they are interested in the role, showing in some way that they understand the nature of the company.

Showing interest and excitement about the position will likely make a long-lasting impression compared to other candidates.

Ms Ellson said to also mention how you look forward to meeting them in an interview or hearing back in future. 

The words you should change on your CV:

Replace these words:

  • Loyal
  • Energetic
  • Punctual
  • Motivated
  • Hardworking
  • Team player
  • ‘I believe’ 
  • Dependable 
  • Dynamic
  • Salary 
  • Incredible 
  • People-person
  • Self-starter 

With powerful action verbs such as:

  • Developed (e.g. ‘I developed a new training manual’)
  • Achieved (e.g. ‘I achieved all my sales targets’)
  • Managed (e.g. ‘I managed a team of three’)
  • Initiated (e.g. ‘I initiated a health and safety program’)

 Source: Seek

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