If you’re looking to make the transition into the civilian job market, you will probably find a lot of advice about constructing an effective, eye-catching CV and perfecting your interview technique.
In addition, the cover letter you send can sometimes be overlooked, but it is an important part of the process when you’re looking to secure ex-Forces jobs. In fact, it is usually the first thing a prospective employer sees, and some might not even get past a poor cover letter to consider the contents of a CV.
It’s important not to use a single stock letter for multiple job applications. A well-constructed and professionally formatted CV might be more of a permanent fixture, although even there it can be useful to rearrange and emphasise certain areas depending on the role you are going for. A CV should also be kept up to date to reflect any recently gained skills and experience.
Your cover letter, however, should always be tailored towards the relevant role and employer. This doesn’t mean including random facts about the company you are applying to, although employers do like to feel that you would like to work for them specifically, as opposed to any other competitor who might take you. A couple of lines describing why you would like to work for that employer and subtly demonstrating that you have done your research is usually a good idea.
Your cover letter is also a good place to explain why you are the perfect candidate for a role. Try not to make it read like a list or a mini-version of your CV but flag up the skills and experience that are most applicable to the job description and requirements. Keep it short and to the point but emphasise what you can offer to the employer and why you are suited for the job at hand.