How to write an effective cover letter: Suzanne Joseph, Indigo Planning

Suzanne Joseph Indigo PlanningHow do you write the perfect cover letter for a job in planning? Suzanne Joseph, HR Consultant at Indigo Planning, shares her top tips.
 
Why is writing a good cover letter important?

“A good cover letter will convey enthusiasm and passion, and gives the candidate the opportunity to address the recruiter personally. I find that a CV is a generic sales tool but a good cover letter, if well-written, will convince me that the applicant has properly researched us and has thought about why he or she would be an asset to Indigo Planning.”
 
How should it be structured?

“There’s no right or wrong way to structure a good cover letter. Candidates should use it as opportunity to let their character and personality shine through. It should, however, address the fundamental questions of ‘why you’ and ‘why Indigo Planning’.”
 
How long should it be?

“One page is more than sufficient.”
 
What is the top thing that you look out for in a good cover letter?

“A good cover letter will make me want to read the CV and learn more about the applicant, so it needs to say something interesting. It should pull out the applicant’s key characteristics, relevant work experience and transferable skills.”
 
What is the top common error in a cover letter that you would encourage people to avoid?

“Always check spelling and grammar, and be sure that the letter is addressed to the right company or person. It’s a big mistake to forget to change the name of the company or the addressee when copying and pasting. For the person on the receiving end, these mistakes say a lot about the applicant’s attention to detail and pride in their work.”

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