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Your Engineering Covering Letter goes hand in hand with your CV. Importantly the letter introduces you to a potential employer and crucially provides the first impression of you. If the letter isn’t what the recruiter wants to hear - forget it! Your CV won’t even get looked at and all your efforts will be wasted. This is a big clue as to why many people send out numerous CVs and never get a reply. Considering the essential importance of the Engineering Covering Letter, it is surprising they routinely receive far less attention and effort than the CV.
The good news is there is some straightforward advice that can dramatically increase the likelihood of your Covering Letter hitting the right note, followed by your CV getting the full consideration it deserves.
OK, first things first. Like the CV, it’s worth considering the purpose of the Engineering Covering Letter. What is it for? By better understanding its purpose, the letter can be written to achieve greatest impact.
Engineering Covering Letter...
Packaging for Your CV
As mentioned above one of the purposes of the Covering Letter is to act like packaging on a product. And just like product packaging it should draw the recruiter’s attention and make them eager to see and experience the contents – the contents being your CV. If written correctly the most effective covering letters not only actively encourage employers to want to read more in the CV, they ultimately make the reader want to find out more and meet the applicant.
Tailoring Your Covering Letter to Match the Job
It stands to reason your application is most likely to be successful when there is a clear match between your skills, experiences and aspirations and that of the position. What is important is your Engineering Covering Letter makes the match crystal clear. The obvious thing is to match key skills and experiences to the equivalent phrases they request in the advert.
However, to leave a genuinely memorable impression, do some company research and feed a few key points into your letter. Check out their website and any industry press about them. What can you find out about them that matches your own goals and aspirations? Spend a couple of lines stating why working for them is important to you. Mention the company by name a few times in your letter.
The extra effort and time spent really is an investment. With the current competition in the labour market, tailoring your Engineering Cover Letter really is essential. With one-size-fits-all letters, perhaps with only the company name changed, you’re pretty much wasting your time.
Engineering Covering Letter...
Market Yourself as Exceptional
Employers are looking for candidates who are outstanding – who wouldn’t want someone exceptional to join their business and make it thrive? As such, you need to market yourself accordingly in your Engineering Covering Letter. Just to be clear, we are not talking about boasting. Instead a confident, assertive yet professional message, backed up with evidence.
Others will be applying for your job! The field will be competitive. Some of them may even be good! What you need to do is build the most compelling case to demonstrate without a doubt, you are the best candidate in the field.
Make yourself stand out by emphasising your strengths and how they meet the specific requirements set out in the advert. Refer to evidence and examples to back this up (the detail for which may be in your CV, therefore there is the compulsion for the reader to want to find out more). Are there any commendations or achievements you have accomplished in key areas central to the role? Be bold – put a link in a letter as proof.
Make sure your Engineering Cover Letter spells out a compelling case for why you should be hired. Being exceptional, by definition means being better than average. So do not use average or general phrases – ones that everybody else uses in job applications. Instead think ‘exceptional’ and use active verbs and build your case for being outstanding around examples of your strengths, clearly matched them to specific points described in the advert. Back these up with evidence and examples. Always be honest – the consequences of being caught out at this stage or even worse at interview simply don’t bear thinking about.
As mentioned previously the extra time and effort may initially be off-putting – particularly if you are applying for a range of positions. But remember to see the time spent as an investment. Being exceptional requires this investment. Think about the alternative – you skimp on the Engineering Covering Letter and your competitors’ spend more time on theirs than you. The likelihood is their CV impresses and gets sifted in, whilst yours is one of the many ‘average’ ones which unfortunately never quite make it. Don’t waste your time.
Next...The Importance of Thorough Research
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We constantly hear about the skills shortage in engineering and high-end manufacturing? Well according to the laws of supply and demand, a shortage of anything should increase its value. So why aren’t engineering salaries sky rocketing as a result? Or are they? What do you think?