Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, shares his advice on how to write a compelling cover letter for event professionals.
At CV Writers we carried out some research to find out what value recruitment professionals placed on the cover letter. The results suggest a polarised opinion.
Whilst one third of respondents said they would only read a CV if a cover letter impressed them first, another third said they would read a CV regardless of the cover letter. As a job seeker, you cannot afford to take any chances. It is vital to include a cover letter to ensure your CV gets the attention it deserves.
Keeping your cover letter short
Ideally a cover letter should be three or four paragraphs in length. It should always fit neatly onto one page. It’s worthwhile remembering that your CV and cover letter are about getting you to interview, they are not about getting the job. Too much detail and you are likely to lose engagement with the reader. Your CV and cover letter should work in perfect tandem to support your application.
What should I include in a cover letter?
If there is just one thing you take away from reading this article it should be this: a cover letter is all about demonstrating you meet the requirements of the person specification. So read the person specification carefully and pick out the major threads. This is what your application will be evaluated on so ensure you include relevant examples to support your application.
The actual content will, of course, be very job specific. In event sales you would need to demonstrate results in driving commercial revenues and perhaps attracting new accounts. In project management it may be all about robust planning, stakeholder management and ensuring smooth delivery on the day. Every job will have its own unique characteristics so try to align your letter with those of the job in hand.
Why examples are important
It is easy to simply say you can do something. It is quite another to demonstrate your expertise. And the most powerful way of demonstrating a particular expertise is by using concrete examples supported with facts and figures. Always try to focus on the outcomes of your endeavours - this is what employers are looking for. Remember, it’s not what you did that counts, it’s the results.
What about personal circumstances?
As a rule of thumb it is better to only include circumstantial information that is positive and will help your application. Try not to include anything negative or that might give the reader pause for thought. Remember, you are protected by law against discrimination against age, sex, religion, race or disability. Any other personal circumstances – such as a medical conditions or care dependency conditions – are probably best left to interview where it is much easier to explain.
The importance of the call to action
The primary role of your cover letter is to get the reader to engage with your CV. So you should sign off by gently nudging the reader positively in that direction.
This article is written by Neville Rose, director of CV Writers. CV Writers are the official CV writing partner to Event Job Search and specialise in writing CVs for event professionals. In addition to a CV writing service, they can help with cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching. CV Writers also publish Perfect CV, a professional CV writing toolkit including a series of how to write a CV videos, CV templates and a CV editing and checking service.