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How to tailor your cover letter for every role…and do it well!

If your cover letters still start with: I’m writing to apply for…then grab a cuppa because this blog is for you!

First, why bother with a cover letter? Cover letters don’t get read…or so they say. An age-old debate where both job seekers, recruiters and hiring managers have differing opinions. In fact, at times, it can be down to the hiring managers personal preference as to whether they read cover letters or not. But what if they do?

If only 20% of job seekers included a cover letter in their application, then any letter provided will make you appear more professional and be perceived that you want to make a good impression, that you’ve taken the time and effort to round out your application.

However, cover letters that lack substance, are generic, or simply a cliché fails to impress. This is where the ‘cover letters don’t get read’ perception comes from, and while there is a 50% chance that a cover letter may be ignored or only offered a dismissive glance, there is also a 50% chance that a cover letter will be read.

Good news, though! Times have changed and so have cover letters—for the better! So, if you want to enhance your application with a professional letter, then pay attention.

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Imagine you are the hiring manager—a hiring manager who reads cover letters. You’ve just received 200 applications for a role.

Only 20% of applicants included a cover letter. Instantly you have reduced your list of candidates by 160 applications.

(Didn’t include a cover letter? Congratulations, you’ve successfully landed in the resume black hole. You can consider yourself lucky if you receive a generic unsuccessful email. Sucks to be you; better luck next time.)

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Of the 40 candidates still in the race, 75% of the letters received went something like this:


To whoever it may concern or Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to apply for the role of {insert role} for {insert company name} as advertised on Seek on {insert date}, {insert job reference}.

I believe I can offer all of the skills you have requested, with excellent communication and time management skills. In addition, I am motivated and thrive in a fast-paced working environment.