The trick with this paragraph is to take the job criteria and match it up with your own personal skills and qualifications. When you first try this, you may get frustrated and find that you are having trouble doing it. However, if you persevere, you may find that your cover letter writing skills have improved immensely. Let’s imagine that the post requires:
- Teaching certificate.
- Teaching experience with children of primary school age.
- Knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays.
- Knowledge of LAMDA exams.
- Be able to work weekends and school holidays.
This is the first paragraph that is going to truly make the recruiters interested so it has to be exactly right. For instance:
Being PGCE qualified has allowed me to teach English at Black Hole Primary School for five years. During my period there I produced ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with my year 6 students. While studying for my honours degree in Literature, I developed a special interest in Shakespeare and so did my dissertation on getting children of primary school age to understand The Bard. Although my son, did all his LAMDA exams through his drama class, I privately tutored him through all the stages until he achieved his gold medal. This has given me a great insight into how LAMDA works. I am able to work weekends and school holidays.
Can you see how all of the requirements have been mentioned but instead of saying ‘I have knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays, the applicant has demonstrated specifically what experience and skills that she has. If she simply said that she had knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays, it is vague and will not really register deeply with the recruiter. However, if you can imagine that the person reading this runs a children’s drama company and the applicant states the actual plays that she produced, it will get the recruiter’s mind ticking over and visualizing how the applicant could fit in with their company.
When you are practising this part of your cover letter, don’t simply accept the first way that you write the paragraph. Could you tighten it up? Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with the format. Try it in bullet points too. There are generic cover letter templates for this paragraph but in, most cases, they are not specific enough. If you are serious about writing a dazzling cover letter, you have to get this paragraph specific to both the job that you are applying for and yourself.