Employers and recruiters are often inundated with applications for accounting positions in Sydney. So, while there is still widespread debate over the relevance of cover letters, we always recommend sending a cover letter and resume as part of your job application. Writing a great letter to a recruiter specifically related to the job ad itself could be the differentiating factor between you and another equally qualified candidate. It is these unique selling points that can set you apart from the competition. Here’s how to write a winning Accounting cover letter to give yourself the best chance of securing an interview in the Sydney Accounting job market.
Your cover letter is your chance to pitch yourself to the company and craft the black-and-white facts of your CV into an engaging story. It should showcase your qualities, qualifications and more, while also capturing your personality. This is your opportunity to demonstrate to the reader how and why you are a good fit for the role. Be sure to include the following in your cover letter strategy:
The simplest rule is to always tailor your cover letter to the job ad. A hiring manager can spot a generic cover letter built from a template a mile away and rather than adding value to an application it may well end up having the opposite effect. Ensuring it’s customised to the accounting positions you’re applying for will show that you’ve done your research and are enthused by the prospect of the role and company. A simple tip here is to always address the cover letter to a specific person rather than using the generic “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. LinkedIn is a great place to start your investigation; look up the person who is responsible for the role and find out a little bit about their background, and their role at the organisation. It never hurts to find out more about the people you could potentially work with either. Being prepared on this front will further demonstrate your interest in their company, their people and the vacancy.
The job ad (or if available, the job description) is often the best resource to refer to when writing your cover letter. Use it to pinpoint the possible issues the company is looking to solve and then with your cover letter, provide the reader with exactly how your previous skills and experience make you the ideal person to address these problems. Keep in mind that you need to be concise when writing a cover letter (we recommend around half a page), so if a company appears to have multiple challenges, pick the three you think are most important and focus on them when aligning your relevant work experience.
It’s critical to remember to not only display your problem-solving ability but also to answer more personal questions as well as your unique selling qualities. Be sure to highlight why you are the perfect candidate and why this job and company are a good fit (read more on this topic here). The answers to these all show your commitment and interest in the job application and set you apart from the crowd. It is also a great way to bring your personality to life and pre-empt any concerns that your CV may have flagged. Perhaps the job requires flexible working hours and that is a part of what appeals about the role. Highlighting your willingness and desire for those conditions immediately sets the reader’s mind at ease and also proves you have read the job advertisement.
Remember that there is a fine line between a cover letter that shows your personality and professionalism and your knowledge of the industry, while sounding confident and positive, without avoiding excessive use of pronouns and appearing arrogant.
Remember the basics – use an easily readable font and ensure that your contact details are correct, ideally, the font on your cover letter and resume should be the same. If your letter is hard to read or your contact details are incorrect, no one is going to take the time to follow them up.
It’s also important to double and triple-check your spelling and grammar. Consider having someone read over your letter as fresh eyes often spot mistakes that are missed because we have read the same text over and over again! Typos, poor spelling and grammar will all hurt your case and make you look unprofessional.
Finally, don’t forget to align your online personal brands (click here to read more on personal branding) in preparation for the reader looking for further information about you prior to getting in touch. Many candidates have fallen at this hurdle because an employer can’t take them seriously after finding rather unflattering social media posts!
In a perfect world, a book would never be judged by its cover, however, we are not in the perfect world and therefore employers must evaluate what’s in front of them. That’s why it’s critical to use a well-written cover letter as a tool to make a great first impression.
While writing a great cover letter can seem daunting or just another hoop you need to jump through, it is an incredibly important opportunity to showcase your skills and experience and sell yourself. More often than not, you will have no idea how many other people are applying for the same accounting positions. A well-researched thought-out and crafted Accounting cover letter gives you a significant advantage over other applicants who may not have put in the same effort.
If you’re applying through an agency such as Richard Lloyd, we will always provide you with advice, on CVs and cover letters as well as cover letter samples to ensure your Sydney Accounting job search is as successful as possible. If you’re considering your next accounting role, get in touch with one of our Specialist Recruitment Consultants today. We would be happy to provide our expertise.
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