At CV Writers we conducted a study of HR professionals and recruiters and found opinions split on the value placed on a cover letter. Just 1/3 would read a CV only if a cover letter was included in the application while 2/3 would read one whether a cover letter was there or not.
Keep it short
Three to four paragraphs is adequate but if your cover letter spills over to a second page you may be including too many features. Always remember your CV and cover letter are intended to get you an interview, not necessarily winning the job. Make sure you expand on points and emphasise key strengths you want the reader to be aware of – but keep it short.
What information should I write about?
Undoubtedly the most crucial piece of advice is to make sure you match the necessities of the person specification of the pension job you are applying for. You will be evaluated against this. Therefore it is imperative that you carefully read your person specification and provide conclusive evidence the employer will be looking for. Focus on the key points in the specification and those that are associated to your achievements.
Keep your examples specific
Everyone can claim to do something but can you prove it? Your cover letter will be much more enticing if you use particular examples to establish your skills in a specific area. Likewise it would be beneficial if you know the business benefits results and can express them in facts and figures
Is information on my personal circumstances relevant?
In brief, it’s best to only include information that will help your application. As a UK citizen you are shielded by various pieces of equal opportunities legislation meaning you do not need to reveal any information regarding religion, sex, race or disability. Your application should be measured on how well you can do the job, whether it’s a pensions analyst or administrator so it may be wise not to include any personal information.
Your wake up call
The prime call to action for a covering letter is to urge the recruiter to read your CV. Any decision about calling you to interview will be made after a potential recruiter has read your CV so politely sign off by directing the reader to your CV to find out more.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. If you need help with your CV or LinkedIn profile CV Writers are the official partner to The Actuary Jobs and provide a CV writing service.