How To Write A Cover Letter

Companies receive thousands of applications every month from accountancy and payroll professionals who appear to have all the right attributes on paper. Their task, therefore, is to whittle down candidates and pick the best of the bunch. Therefore, it is crucial that a candidate is well equipped with the knowledge on how to write a cover letter.

Not all firms have the internal resources to get to know each applicant before deciding who to hire. Many take shortcuts out of necessity.

As a candidate, therefore, your cover letter is vital. It is an essential tool that you can use to differentiate your application from the others in the pile. In short, it is your chance to shine.

Writing an effective cover letter isn’t as hard as you might think. If you’re stuck, here is some guidance to point you in the right direction.

Keep It Short And Sweet

Because of the nature of accounting and payroll work, it can be challenging to keep cover letters short. The topics are complex and often challenging to convey.

If you know that the role you’re applying for requires a specific skill set, don’t be afraid to use bullet points to highlight critical skills. This formatting makes it easy for the hiring manager to scan your letter and determine whether you’re a match for the job or not.

Also, try to keep your letter to fewer than five paragraphs. Remember, the hiring manager only has a limited amount of time to process your application, so stick to the key points where possible.

Tell Them About Your Motivations

Employers want people who have more than mere accountancy skills. They’re often looking for candidates with a sense of purpose, drive, and mission.

At root, accounting and payroll is fundamentally a process, but that doesn’t make it unexciting. Employers want to know why you love it, and why you’re committed to providing an excellent service. These motivations are often profoundly personal but, ideally, you want to present them in a way that makes it clear how they benefit the employer. For instance, payroll and accounting might motivate you because you’re committed to the idea of supporting small businesses and startups.

Talk About Your Soft Skills

While companies will always advertise for people with specific qualifications and experience, in truth, they often want more than mere technical skill. Hiring managers are also keen to find people who are a cultural match and fun to work alongside. Nobody involved in the hiring process wants to get the blame for taking on somebody miserable, disruptive, rude or obnoxious.

Ideally, therefore, your cover letter should convey a little information about your soft skills. If possible, try to emphasize the options that you provide employers (such as flexibility). Make it clear that you’re there to add to their team, not bleed it of resources.

Soft skills also come through strongly in the way that you write your covering letter. Where possible, try to show a degree of emotional intelligence, either through examples or how you approach the job offer. Remember, even though you know you can take on the role, the hiring manager doesn’t.

Make It Clear How You Can Contribute To The Company

Learning how to write an accountancy cover letter is all about rethinking your fundamental approach to applying for a post. A lot of candidates will write their applications with the unconscious assumption that it is their job to prove that they have the skills for the position. But more impressive applicants take a broader view by talking about how they can contribute to the company.

When you focus exclusively on your suitability for the role, you’re essentially pleading with the firm to hire you. By contrast, when you discuss how you can assist the company, you align yourself with its interests, automatically placing you head and shoulders above the other candidates. Talking about your skills and experience is still important, but only insofar as they can help the enterprise meet its goals.

Discuss Your Key Achievements In Past Roles And How That Experience Helps Your Prospective Employer

Many firms like to take an evidence-based approach to the hiring process. Fundamentally, they want proof that you’re able to do what you say that you can do.

If you worked hard on a project and brought it to fruition, then be sure to mention this in your covering letter. Exemplifying your value tells other professionals that you’re able to deliver.

Remember, if you’re stuck on how to write a covering letter, you can always use a template. Don’t cut and paste though – it’s not a good look!

If you would like some personal guidance on writing a cover letter, get in touch!