How to Write a Great Covering Letter

A covering letter is as important than your job application and resume, if not more so. Yet, so many people underestimate the power of the covering note. Here are some tips on how to write a great covering letter for the facilities management sector, to ensure that your application gets the attention it deserves from the offset.

Planning your cover letter

Each covering letter should be customised to the particular facilities job that you are applying for. Regardless of whether a covering letter has been requested, you should take this opportunity to convey why you feel that you are suited to the post, rather than simply introducing yourself and the other parts of your application. Remember that your CV is basically a list of facts, so regardless of the years of experience you’ve gained within the industry, a covering letter gives you the chance to build on the information in your resume and display more of your personality. It should also highlight in what ways you match the personal requirements of the role because this isn’t always obvious to the panel. Finally, your covering note should support the remainder of your application, acknowledging that you have read and understood the job advertisement, and so it should not be a template or come across as a generic message.

Formatting and proofreading your cover letter

As important as it is to capture the essence of your personality and spirit in your covering letter, it is just as important to display your attention to detail and professionalism. Making your covering note look and sound right is what could set you above the rest of the candidates. Think of your letter as a business communication and ensure that the font style and size is consistent throughout and that it doesn’t exceed one A4 page. Be sure to leave a space between paragraphs to make the text easier to read and, most importantly, read and re-read the letter to avoid any silly typos.

Final checks

Once you’re confident that your covering letter is error-free, there are a few final checks that you should run before sending off the application. First of all, if sending electronically, make sure that you have attached the documents requested, as there’s nothing more embarrassing than having to re-send your message with the missing attachments. Secondly, triple check that you have spelt the name of the person you are writing to correctly, including using the correct title. If the advertisement didn’t specify a contact, it might be worth researching the company and finding out through your own initiative which individual your application should be addressed to.

Finally, since your covering letter is the first chance you get to wow the panel, ask yourself one last time whether you really have put across your interest in the role and your passion for the work that employees in the facilities management sector do. There is a fine line between being confident and over-confident, but there is a big difference between a strong and a weak application.