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Upskilling Tips for Cover Letters

By Sukhpreet Chana, Grace Edwards and Misha Manani


Writing a cover letter can seem daunting, especially when faced with a job position you really want. Your cover letter is one of the first documents your employer will read to consider how suitable you are for a role, so it’s normal to worry that you are not presenting your relevant experience and skills in the best way possible. 


The cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and display yourself clearly as the perfect candidate for the position. It is even more important within an industry as competitive as publishing that you distinguish yourself from other applicants by showcasing your knowledge and professionalism. To help, we have compiled our top tips and advice to give you a foolproof guide on how to write a good cover letter.


Structure


  • Opening statements: Start your cover letter with a professional greeting, preferably using the name of the recruiting employer. This can often be found in the job advertisement or by doing a simple internet search. If you cannot find a specific name, you can open the letter with “Dear Hiring Manager.”


  • First paragraph: Address the job role that you are hiring for and where you came across the listing. Include some specific strengths and skills that make you suitable for the position. 


  • Middle paragraph(s): Display your knowledge about the company and what you have to offer the employer. Show that you have done your research on the business and explain how you can contribute to its mission by highlighting relevant work experience/skills. 


  • Closing statements and signing off: Summarise briefly what you would bring to the position and thank the employer for considering you for the job role. Finish your cover letter with a formal closing regard such as ‘Yours Sincerely’ before signing your full name.


Key Resources


  • The companies’ website: Whether this be a publisher, literary agency or bookshop, it is important to research their values, mission statement, how they function, key titles and authors, etc. to demonstrate your interest in the job. Be sure to mention some of their titles in your cover letter and show that you are a good fit for the team. 


  • Social media accounts: Look at their social presence across different platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (if they are available). It’s a great way to see how the organisation connects with consumers and members of the public and what information they think is important to share. This can inform your cover letter. 




Bonus Tips


  • Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation: This is a crucial point to consider especially when it comes to writing a cover letter for publishing jobs to support your resume. Common errors and mistakes can appear in a cover letter, hence the reason to ensure this is impeccable throughout. Show the letter to a trusted colleague, friend or family member who can go take a look and help give a peace of mind before submitting it to recruiters. 


  • Highlight your experience: Including experience in publishing can boost your cover letter by expanding on abilities that you have that correlate to the job description. This can be beneficial as it shows you have knowledge about and transferable skills for the industry. Tailor a cover letter to the job you have applied for, but make sure you don’t repeat what is on your CV! 


  • Research: Before attempting a cover letter, always research the publishing organisation to help get an idea of how best to start it. This can set the tone of how formal to go by customising it to each sector, including knowledge about a company that could elevate a cover letter demonstrating interest and enthusiasm for the position. 


  • Keywords: You can incorporate them into your cover letter to enhance your experience by using publishing terms which coincide with your skills. It supports your application process for recruiters to see if you are a suitable candidate for the role and how they align with each other.


Thank you for reading issue 91! Join us again for Upskilling Tips for Application Questions in issue 92, the next instalment in our new year career series.


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