Your cover letter is your first chance to shine – so make sure it’s done right to give you the best chance of landing that role.
I see hundreds of CVs that are very well put together – hours have been spent on layout and design…only for the cover letter to be a huge let down. And that’s a shame, as I’ve been told on numerous occasions that employers will not even look at a CV if the cover letter is rubbish!
Many potential candidates are falling at the first hurdle by using bland, generic letters for every application. It’s essential that each cover letter is tailored to the role you’re applying for.
Here are some pointers on getting it right:
1) Address Your Cover Letter to the Right Person
Always find out the name of the person doing the recruiting. Most production companies have their own website with key people listed. If the Head of Production, PM or TM is not listed, then get on YouTube and view the credit roll of their last production. The fact that you have researched the right person will already say a lot about you.
2) Don’t Waffle
Start your letter with why you’re interested in the role and why you think your skills and experience are relevant. Being aware of the company’s output will also show that you have a genuine interest in working there.
3) Be Clear and Concise
Tempting as it may be to use gold embossed paper and your own specially designed font, your letter needs to be easily read – most will be viewed online first and then printed off. Therefore, a white background and size 11 font in Ariel or Calibri (boring I know) will be fine.
4) Spelling and Grammar
The old favourite. It still matters to people that you can read and write, so please make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Get a friend to proofread – getting the once over from a third party can also help with editing.
5) Big Yourself Up
Using positive language is very important – particularly when highlighting key elements of your skills. If you’re rubbish or inexperienced at using certain software, for example, then it’s best to leave it out. Everything you say should be upbeat – let that employer feel they can’t produce their new show without you!