With up to 25 percent of young New Zealanders, aged 16 to 25, struggling to find a job in this tough economy, as many as 57 percent of hiring managers say the biggest mistake job seekers make is failing to make a good impression. Did you know that a cover letter is a great way to give a hiring manager a prelude into who you are and why you would be a valuable asset to their company. Did you know as many as a quarter of hiring managers only read a resume if the cover letter catches their attention? Did you know a cover letter is your opportunity to give a hiring manager a preview that makes them want to read your resume?

Just like any good script, you really need to think your cover letter through. Failing to align yourself with what may be the company’s “vision” for future expansion may doom your prospects of getting an interview and ultimately, a job. In addition, if you haven’t thought through what you are going to say, your cover letter may sound unorganised and not up to the task of being the company’s new PR executive. Don’t hurry when writing a cover letter. Did you know 16 percent of all hiring managers, in one survey, admitted they wouldn’t even read the entire cover letter if they found a single mistake?

Don’t forget the action

Use action verbs to highlight your experience and put yourself in a better position to land a job interview, based on your cover letter. Employers want to see how you can benefit them in the present, not how you might have served as class president 15 years ago. When using action verbs, link them to facts that you can back up, such as increasing productivity by 10 percent in the previous year by initiating cutbacks in your department. However, don’t exaggerate and don’t lie. Did you know 75 percent of companies may research a job seeker before they get an interview and maybe before they even fully read your cover letter? A future New Zealand employer will discover a lie and fire you on the spot for lying on a job application. Worse, it can also give you a bad reputation as a job seeker and signal to other employers that you are not a trustworthy employee.

Does your job history have blanks? Do not be afraid to use flashbacks. It is perfectly acceptable for a job seeker to state that they have a 10 year gap in their job history because they exited the workforce to care for their children. However, leaving a 10 year gap without explanation may cause an employer to question what you did with your time. It may leave an employer thinking you cannot be counted on to be dependable with the job position that is available. If your previous job information is your best shot at getting a job, and it ties in with the skills a hiring company is seeking, make sure to mention it first. The information on your cover letter may just land you a job interview.

Have a strong ending

The closing in your cover letter is your climax, so make it good. It is what may land you a job interview, with only a few strong poignant lines. If you know what a hiring company wants, you may not have to waste too many lines on a strong cover letter finish. Did you know one hiring manager said one successful applicant gave only a one-line closer? Above all else, do not forget to roll the credits. Give the job posters credit and refer to the job position by how it is posted in an ad exactly. This tells a hiring manager that you are an employee that pays specific attention to detail. In the end, this minor detail may land you a job interview over a potential employee that only used similar language.

Have you ever struggled with a cover letter? Isn’t it nice when your cover letter does win you an interview? At King of CV, we offer a wide range of cover letter services so that potential employers will give your cover letter the due consideration it deserves. To see what cover letter services we offer, please visit us at: www.kingofcv.co.nz