How to structure a killer cover letter
Finding Opportunities is Hard. Applying for them is Often Harder!
Wouldn’t it be easy if all you needed to say was, “Hey look it’s me, I’m interested, CHOOSE ME!”
And boom! you landed the opportunity? Wouldn’t that be the greatest?
Pity it’s not the reality.
Instead, we have to compile our cover letter so that we appear to be the best thing since democracy! We must convey interest, passion, maturity, intelligence and the willingness to apply oneself to learning while working in a professional environment.
Damn…that’s hard work! It is, but you can do it if you follow our really simple advice.
What is Occupational Training?
Occupational training is when a learning program or qualification is specifically geared towards preparing you to meet workplace demands.
A Learnership, usually at least a year long, is an example of an occupational program which, when you achieve it – earns you an industry relevant qualification.
The Cover or Motivating Letter
You’re in a Competition when you Apply
Take a moment to acknowledge who you will be competing against for the opportunity so that you have an idea of who you need to be better than.
Your cover letter will either let you down or place you at the front of the pack. We’ve posted a few articles containing advice for preparing your application, click on ‘Find a Learnership’ at the top of the menu to find these additional posts. You’ll see that there are different ideas for how to go about writing your cover letter, choose the ideas that work for you.
A well structured cover letter is your advert. It’s a summary of what you believe separates you from everyone else. Don’t send the cover letter you used for the Shoprite job application. Each cover letter must be written for the specific opportunity you are applying for.
Don’t lie about details. Your letter must show that you are a positive person who understands what you are applying for.We all know you don’t take part in a competition unless you are willing to work hard and prepare yourself to win.
We came up with these 10 Tips for Awesome
- Spelling and grammar counts, make it perfect! Do a spell check – ask someone (like Google) if you don’t know how!
- Don’t write a sentence that you cannot explain in an interview. What you write must make sense to you!
- Each cover letter you write must be different because your cover letter is ALWAYS based on the specific opportunity you are applying for.
- You should mention key skills or experience listed in your CV relevant to the opportunity you are applying for.
- Adverts list requirements – do the same! Next to each requirement state how you meet it. For example, if they request Matric, state that your certificate is attached.
Never refer to what you don’t have, only focus on what you have, what you can do and what you know about the opportunity.
- If you are a disabled candidate, be specific about the disability as training providers and employers have a responsibility to adapting the environment so that you can be efficient and effective. Note that we have legislation that supports and removes barriers for you. (Apologies for use of the term ‘disabled to our ‘otherwise abled’ readers.)
- Make yourself sound human, smart and determined (I grew up with my grandmother who taught me that….; When I helped my teacher with…, it taught me how to…., I excelled at soccer because it gave me an opportunity to become a leader and understand that…)
- You must believe you would be BRILLIANT if placed in this opportunity -if you don’t, your writing style will show it.
- What you want to say will come naturally when you focus on what you want to achieve. Your focus will improve with more practice and as you make the effort.
Find opportunities and write winning cover letters! The more you write, and send out – the closer you get to your dream!!!!
Check out Learnership Cover Letter – What do you write about? for more brilliant advice.