How to craft a strong covering message to support your application
Published: 18 Sep 2015
Studies have shown that while the information age has drastically improved our ability to multi-task, attention spans have suffered. As a candidate applying for roles on GlobalSportsJobs.com, where the average vacancy sees over 30 applications, it is important that you take advantage of every opportunity to make an impact and demonstrate to employers that you’re right for the role.
We recently published an article demonstrating the benefits of tailoring your CV to showcase your most relevant skills, experience and qualifications for each individual role you apply for, but before an employer even gets to your CV their first impression of you is derived from your covering message. You have 4,000 characters (including spaces) to convince them to look at your CV and consider you as a credible candidate for their vacancy.
To help support your applications, we’ve collated our top five tips on how to optimise your covering message:
1. Do your research: To produce a credible application you have to do your homework. Make sure you understand what is required of the role and have a flavour of the organisation’s vision and culture. The majority of companies advertising their vacancies on GlobalSportsJobs offer insight into their office environment and employee lifestyles on the Inside Track content hub, so this would be a good place to start. Visiting the company’s website and social media channels will also help you familiarise yourself with current news within the business.
2. Take a step back: After carrying out your research, do you still feel that your skills, experience and interests align with the vacancy? Applying for roles where you don’t meet the minimum criteria outlined in the job description or where you could be perceived as significantly over-qualified can affect your reputation as a candidate, hindering any future applications you may wish to make for more appropriate positions with the same employers in the future.
3. Make an impact in the first two sentences: This will keep the reader engaged and incentivised to read on.
4. Be social: While the GlobalSportsJobs.com portal allows you to write up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) in your covering message, we suggest that aiming for around 2,000 will help you deliver your key points in a concise and engaging way. Consider each sentence like a 140-character Tweet, covering areas such as: (a) previous relevant experience (b) why the role is a good fit for you (c) relevant professional skills (d) accomplishments that demonstrate how you could add value to them specifically as an employer and (e) a message thanking the reader for their consideration.
5. Sense check: After double-checking your spelling and grammar, without relying solely on automated spellcheck programs, ask a friend, family member or colleague to read through your covering letter with a fresh pair of eyes and feedback their thoughts and suggestions.