A cover letter is an essential part of any job application. It’s the first impression a potential employer gets of you, and it needs to make an impact. Crafting the perfect cover letter can feel like a scary task, but there are some simple steps you can take to improve its effectiveness and increase your confidence when you hit send.

In this blog post, we’re going to share some top tips on how to write an outstanding application for any senior role – so read on if you want to get that job you’ve always wanted.

Start by introducing yourself

It’s likely that the hiring manager or recruiter will be inundated with plenty of CVs, so you need to make sure that your cover letter makes yours stand out. Make sure that your letter is addressed to the hiring manager, rather than a generic ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, and then state something about yourself. For example, you might say ‘My name is [x], and I believe that I have the skills and drive to be a good fit for this role. I am currently working at [x company] in [x position] and I am interested in this job because…’.

You should make sure that your cover letter is specific enough to make it clear that you have read the job description, and aren’t just sending out generic cover letters for a number of roles. If you can, use keywords from the job description, but don’t be tempted to stuff it full for the sake of it. Not only will this make it look artificial, but it will also be much harder to read.

Establish what transferable skills you have

When applying for a more senior position, you won’t be able to state that you’ve done the role successfully elsewhere, but you can demonstrate that you have the right skills for the job. Even if you’ve just covered for your manager for a few days, lead a team event or organised a work social activity voluntarily, you’ll likely have some of the skills needed to succeed in a higher responsibility role. Don’t be tempted to fake any experience or say you’ve worked in a senior position – be honest, but clear about why you feel that you have the right skills to enable you to step up with confidence.

Highlight your achievements

Factual evidence can really stand out and allow you to present a solid case to the hiring manager. If they’re in any doubt about whether you’re ready to progress, showing that you’ve already made a big difference in your current role can really help.

List any key achievements in bullet points, and if relevant, use numbers and statistics to show the positive impact that this has had. You want the hiring manager to be able to see why they should hire you at a glance – they’ll have plenty of applications to get through.

Link to your professional social media

Especially for creatives, social media can be a really useful tool for showcasing your work, as well as your connections with other people. Whilst follower numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all, if you do have a high rate of engagement, this might show your potential employers that you’re a trusted voice and that you clearly know what you’re doing. 

You can include these in links at the bottom of your cover letter. Just remember that your potential employer may well check them out, so make sure you’re happy that the content is a good representation of your strengths and work before you share them. You may also want to restrict access to any personal accounts that they could find.

Go get your new role

Now that you understand how to write a cover letter, go forth and be confident. Remember your key skills, assess what the company is looking for, and make sure that you demonstrate why you’d be a great choice of candidate. Whilst it can be nerve-wracking to apply for a senior role, know that your experience has equipped you to take on this role and the duties it will entail.