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How to tailor your cover letter to the job

Do you want a job at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018)? Give yourself the best chance to get noticed by tailoring your cover letter for the event and the job. Make sure you craft your letter for the exact role you’ve set your heart on. That way you’re putting your best foot forward.

The purpose of a cover letter is to get a recruiter or employer to look at your resume. But keep it simple. Less is more, especially in the era of online applications. Think about what will grab their attention – such as highlighting keywords in bold.

Every cover letter is important. It’s too easy in the world we live in to apply online for jobs without tailoring your cover letter and resume. Make sure that every single cover letter is individualised for the job in question, even if it’s a voluntary role. If your cover letter nails it, you’re going to stand out to an employer. The process of tailoring your cover letter also makes you think more about the role and if it is really right for you.

Concentrate on two or three keywords. Look at the exact wording of the advertisement from GC2018 and choose two or three of those words from the key selection criteria to focus on. Then match your capabilities against each word using relevant examples. If, for example, the advertisement mentions meet and greet skills you could highlight that with a bullet point. Weave a variety of key meet and greet skills into that point such as paid roles you have held, volunteer experience in community organisations, or sports club management roles. But keep it brief. You just want to grab the reader’s attention for now.

Explain why you’re interested in the job. Explain in a sentence what excites you about GC2018. Pique the reader’s interest. Explain very specifically what it is that makes this the job for you. It may, for example, be that it will use your customer service experience. Or it allows you to use your marketing skills. Tie it back to how your skills will benefit the games.

Summarise with your unique selling point (USP). What’s different about you? Explain why you’re the best fit for this particular role and how your USP fits. Make sure you understand what the organisation wants. If the role is for staffing a tourist information booth, tailor your USP in the cover letter to your credentials such as speaking a second language or your extensive travel history, which enables you to understand tourists better. Remember, every part of your cover letter needs to be tailored to the job advert.

Finally, review your cover letter and ask yourself: “would I give this person a job at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games?”