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Applying for a job is nerve wracking and sometimes time consuming. There’s often a sense of getting it out of the way, flicking across your existing CV without a whole lot of thought. A kind of ‘that’ll do’ approach. The thing is, people don’t want to hire someone who thinks ‘that’ll do’ is good enough. They want someone that makes them sit up and go ‘hang on, this person could be goooood!’. Writing a compelling cover letter is essential in making that kind of strong first impression. A great letter can make you stand out from the pack and significantly improve your chances of securing an interview.
Here are our top tips for writing a great cover letter:

TIP #1

Tailor Your Job Cover Letter to the Role and Your Experience

Generic cover letters often roll something like “I’m excited to apply for the job, see my CV attached”. Quickly written, quickly dismissed. Instead, take time to research the company and understand the key responsibilities of the job.

Even better, if you know somewhere that works there, ask their permission to mention them in the letter. For example “Danny Diggles in Marketing suggested I get in touch.” That kind of personal connection means at the very least they’ll have a close look at your CV and potentially even get you in for an interview. 

Extra tips for tailoring your letter include:

  • Address the Hiring Manager by Name: If possible, find out the name of the hiring manager and address the letter directly to them. This adds a personal touch and shows that you have done your homework. Often this takes as little as a quick phone call to reception. 
  • Research the Company: Understand the company’s mission, and recent achievements. This helps you align your skills and experiences with what the company is looking for. For example, Rip Curl wants to be ‘The Ultimate Surf Company’. If you’re applying for them, you could mention you want to work for someone that’s core and is true to the surfing culture.
  • Explain Your Motivation: Tell them why you’re excited about this role. Show enthusiasm for the position and the company, but be sincere and specific. If you find that you aren’t actually excited about the job, maybe it’ll save you time applying in the first place.
  • Match Your Skills with Job Requirements: Highlight your most relevant experiences and skills that match the job description. Use specific examples from your past work to demonstrate how you meet the qualifications and how you can add value to the company.

    For example, instead of writing a generic opening, you could write: “I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Stab Mag’s innovative team (loved your latest Stab High event in Japan by the way!). With over five years of experience in digital marketing, I think I could be perfect for the Social Media Manager role.

TIP #2

Highlight What Makes You, You

Your cover letter should go beyond your resume by emphasizing what makes you unique. This is your chance to showcase your personality, strengths, and the distinct value you can bring to their team. Focus on your unique traits and how they relate to the job you are applying for.

How to Highlight Your Unique Value

  • Identify Your Key Strengths: Think about the top skills and qualities that set you apart from other contenders. These could include specific technical skills, soft skills, or unique experiences. In the boardsports industry, that could be something as simple as having been a surfer since you were a kid. 

  • Provide Evidence: Use concrete examples to back up your claims. Eg. If you’re highlighting your project management skills, mention a particular project where you led a team to success under a tight deadline.

  • Connect Your Strengths to the Role: Explain how your unique attributes will benefit the company in the specific role. Make it clear why you are the best fit for the position and how your strengths will help the company achieve its goals.

    For instance: “My ability to implement cutting-edge marketing strategies led to a 20% increase in engagement for my previous employer’s social media platforms. Considering Billabong’s incredible athlete roster (hello world title for Ethan Ewing this year?) I believe I can do the same, if not better for you.

TIP #3

Keep Your Cover Letter Short

No one likes reading emails or cover letters. No one. Save them the angst of wading through some kind of TED Talk manuscript. Your cover letter should be concise and to the point, but still have good information in it. Aim to keep your cover letter to one page at the very most, focusing on important and relevant information only. In the spirit of that, we’ll keep this point as short as possible.

Follow this basic format:

  • Introduce who you are and why you’re applying.
  • Outline your unique skills and cultural fit to the brand (including a concrete example or two)
  • Invite them to ask you for an interview where you can expand on what they’ve read 

Good luck!

Remember to always be yourself, be professional and be personal.
If you manage that, you’re already steps ahead of the game


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