In the dynamic landscape of the UK job market, job seekers and employers alike are navigating an ever-evolving landscape of hiring practices. One question that frequently arises is whether cover letters are still relevant in 2023.
We recently asked you what you thought on the issue, and 58% of you thought that realistically, your CV says it all. But as a recruitment company committed to connecting talent with opportunity, we’re here to explore this topic and offer insights into the role of cover letters in the job market today.
The cover letter has long been a staple of job applications worldwide. It serves as a candidate’s opportunity to introduce themselves, express their interest in a position, and highlight their skills and experiences. But times have changed, and technology is a big player in today’s job hunt. So, where do cover letters fit in?
One reason people question the importance of cover letters is the rise of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These computer programs scan resumes for specific keywords and phrases that match the job description. Since they focus on resumes, some think cover letters have become less relevant.
However, don’t ditch the cover letter just yet! Some companies still value them. They use cover letters to gauge your written communication skills, attention to detail, and real interest in the job. Plus, smaller or more traditional companies may rely on cover letters more.
Where cover letters truly shine is in their capacity for personalisation. A well-crafted cover letter allows candidates to address the hiring manager by name, explain their affinity for the company, and tailor their qualifications to the specific role. This personalised approach can distinguish applicants who put in the effort from those who submit generic applications.
Furthermore, cover letters can help candidates explain any gaps in their employment history, career changes, or other aspects of their background that may require additional context. They serve as a platform for candidates to make their case when their qualifications may not align perfectly with the job description.
For recruitment companies and job seekers alike, cover letters can be instrumental in networking and relationship-building. When candidates are referred to a job opportunity by a current employee or a contact within their professional network, mentioning this connection in their cover letter can carry significant weight. It demonstrates a genuine link to the company and underscores that the candidate is not just another anonymous applicant.
1. Keep It Brief: Aim for a cover letter that is no longer than one page, with clear and concise language.
2. Tailor Each Letter: Customisation is key; adapt your cover letter for each specific job and company.
3. Highlight Relevant Skills: Emphasise skills and experiences that align with the job requirements.
4. Maintain a Professional Tone: Use a professional tone and language throughout your cover letter.
5. Proofread Thoroughly: Ensure your cover letter is free of typos and grammatical errors.
Cover letters are still very much relevant in the UK job market of 2023. While their role has evolved in response to technological advancements and changing hiring practices, they continue to offer value in terms of personalisation, differentiation, and providing additional context to job applications.
For recruitment companies, cover letters can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s communication skills and enthusiasm for a role, making them a valuable tool in the assessment process. So, as a job seeker in the UK, don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted cover letter—it might just be the key to unlocking your dream job opportunity.
Get the dream job offer after perfecting your cover letter? Here are our tips for negotiating and getting the best out of your employment contract.
Working from home can be a dream come true—no early alarm to catch the overcrowded train into the office, comfortable clothes, and AAA to your fridge. However, this often comes with its own set of challenges that can make productivity a struggle. Here are some tips to help you stay productive even when working remotely.
One of the most essential aspects of working from home is establishing a schedule. Without set office hours, it can be tempting to stay in bed for longer or take extra-long lunch breaks. Having a routine will help you maintain focus and stay on track. Try time-blocking your calendar into sections to plan your day, just like this example.
Create a dedicated workspace that is separate from your comfortable areas. Working from the sofa or bed may seem like a good idea, but it can make it hard to focus on work. Having a designated workspace helps to create a mental distinction between work time and personal time in your home.
While working in pyjamas may be tempting, getting dressed in the morning can help switch your mind into “work mode.” Dressing up in professional attire can be highly motivating and help increase productivity levels.
Working from home comes with lots of distractions like chores, family members, social media, or even the TV. To maximize productivity, try creating a focus playlist or podcast, that helps you stay focused or use noise-cancelling headphones to block out noise. You can also set a timer to take short breaks and use the break time to attend to any personal tasks.
Working from home can feel like you’re out of the loop, so staying connected with co-workers is essential for maintaining morale. Regular communication can help you stay accountable, bounce ideas, and keep the work moving forward!
Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Be sure to take regular breaks, eat healthy meals, stay hydrated and get your steps in with your four-legged friends. It’s easy to forget these things when working from home, but they will help you stay focused and energized throughout the day.
Are you looking for a hybrid or remote role? Check to all of our lasted jobs over on our job page.
We look at the various methods that can be employed to create a positive work environment. A positive work environment is one that fosters employee engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity. By creating such an environment, employers can expect to see a significant improvement in their employees’ motivation and overall job performance.
Invest in your Onboarding Process
A positive work environment begins with positive employees, and the first two weeks are crucial to creating such an environment. It’s important to offer support from the start. Onboarding helps to create a comfortable atmosphere for new staff members and sets them up for a successful career. Overall, investing in an employee’s onboarding process can increase productivity and reduce staff turnover.
Protect Employee’s Mental Health
It is crucial for organisations to create an environment where employees feel safe and supported in seeking help to manage stress, prevent burnout, and minimise absenteeism. With most employees working 5-day, 40-hour week jobs, it is no surprise that their physical and emotional well-being plays a significant role in their overall experience at work.
Organisations can take a more proactive approach to support staff wellbeing in the workplace by providing resources such as mental health services, flexible work arrangements, and wellness programs. By doing so, they can create and maintain a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement and productivity, ultimately leading to better business outcomes.
Show Recognition and Reward Employees
Maintaining a positive work environment is crucial to the success of any business. One way to achieve this is to recognise the hard work of your employees. In fact, celebrating employees who go above and beyond can increase motivation amongst your team and lead to even better performance in the long run. When management takes the time to acknowledge and appreciate these efforts, it helps employees feel valued, which in turn creates a culture of mutual respect and positivity throughout your company. This can also lead to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates, as employees are more likely to stay with a company that values their contributions and recognises their hard work.
Valuing communication is one of the best ways to create a positive work environment and to create a workplace culture that is collaborative, productive, and fulfilling.When employees feel comfortable providing feedback to management, it fosters an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. This kind of communication helps ensure that all members of the team feel appreciated, and that their voices are heard. Furthermore, regular check-ins with employees are crucial. By regularly touching base with your team members, you can foster a sense of camaraderie and support. This also helps ensure that they feel valued and that their needs are being met. It’s important to take the time to listen to your employees, and to be receptive to their feedback.
Organise Staff Events
Sustainability is growingly becoming the new-norm conversation within businesses on how they can tackle climate change first hand. We asked you how important it is to you when looking for a new role, that the company offers a position actively tackling the climate crisis.
Interestingly most of you voted that you see this as a benefit, but not an essential part of your criteria for looking for work. However, for 20% of you this is your main priority, and suggests that you are actively researching the ethics of a company before applying for a new role.
Taking action on climate change can seem daunting if you are a business, but it’s much easier than you think and can cut yearly costs and bring in environmentally-savvy employees! Starting with environmental research and some simple changes, your business can be on a road to sustainability in no time.
A sustainability action plan is a strategy for how your company plans to reach targets for achieving environmental, financial, and societal sustainability. Once you have set your short-term targets and long-term goals, set them into your company policy to set a standard at all levels of the organisation.
Integrate your team into your sustainability goals by brainstorming ideas to increase awareness as a team. Once these goals are set, assign to your team according to their strengths, for example your social media manager can work with creating content across your platforms echoing your climate action goals and your office manager can source sustainable stationary and office products.
From choosing to work with more ethical conscious and sustainable suppliers to discovering simple ways to change office habits, check out our tips on making the office more Eco-friendly here.
Putting sustainability at the heart of your core values and being transparent with your sustainability goals is the first step to a successful climate plan! Shouting out about the efforts your business is making to combat climate change can be the winning decision that brings you new employees that are not only mirroring your company values but can help to further your sustainability scheme.
‘Burn baby burn’ – a catchy song, but not a nice feeling to live with. Stress can have implications on our health and well-being, and burnout is a harsh reality many of us face juggling work, family, and life in general. We empathise with you, we’ve been there!
There are many ways you can help yourself to feel more you, but here are just a few tips to help avoid burnout.
If you are constantly in ‘fight or flight’ mode it will be beneficial to calm your adrenals with soft exercises like walks in the park or yoga. We hear it all the time, but it’s not overrated – eat nutritious food to give your body energy and give your brain a boost. Eat the rainbow i.e. load up your plate with colourful veggies such as leafy greens, sweet potato, beetroot – whatever you like. Another tip – when you need to wind down after a stressful day takes a magnesium bath with a cup of camomile – it works a treat!
Irregular sleep can be one of the first things that are impacted by stress. Turn off your phone an hour before you head to sleep. Do your best to regulate your circadian rhythm by taking long, deep breaths before bed to help drift off to sleep. If you wake up at or after sunrise you can sit in the sunlight first thing to wake up your brain and regulate your circadian rhythm – a fantastic method recommended by sleep therapists.
Give yourself permission to say ‘No’. Your time is important – prioritise what is important and do your best to make time for yourself.
Not overrated. Head to a market, go dancing, invite some friends for bowling, do a paint and sip class, learn how to knit, do a cooking class, have a dinner party, draw, join a football team, head to the local court and shoot some hoops – whatever it is that allows you to play.
Try and take some time during work to do a quick meditation – even if you can get away from your desk for 5 minutes. Melissa Ambrosini has some fantastic guided meditations, or you can simply go to a quiet corner, close your eyes, and do some long, deep breaths.
These are some tips that have helped our team avoid burnout, and we hope some of these are helpful to you. If you take anything away – be kind to yourself!
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but we want to show you some of our tips for making the smooth ride into your next position! Whether your interview is face-to-face or over a zoom meeting we look at our top tips from our team for acing your next interview for that dream job!
Research, research, research! Knowing all about the client, who they are, what they do and what they’ve done, is vital to any interview and shows real interest and passion for the company. The simplest way to start your preparations is using LinkedIn, checking in on their socials and analysing the job description. Because preparation is KEY to nailing that interview!
Bonus points if you know the interviewer beforehand and do some research on them as well.
First Impressions are key with any interviewer. When you get out of the lift or are met at the reception, stand tall, look warm, confident and smile! If you walk to a meeting room, engage in conversation on the way – ‘How’s your day been so far?’ or ‘Great offices!’. This will alleviate any nerves and gets the conversation going before the interview takes place. If your interviewer has decided even before you’ve sat down that he or she likes you, then you’ve already won half the battle!
Our work history can be a long-winding road, so much so that it’s easy to forget what we’ve done. Go back over your CV multiple times! Talk yourself through everything you did, the processes you undertook to complete tasks and all projects you were part of.
Knowing your CV inside and out will able you to talk through your CV confidently, and don’t forget to have details on why you’ve moved from one job to another, explaining your journey.
Prepare for competency-based questions. Everyone dreads these questions but they’re a necessary evil. How to ace them? Go back over the job spec, alongside your CV, and pick out your most relevant examples to give. For the awful “biggest weakness?” question, choose a previous skill you have since developed and why you’re now better for it and turn it around into a strength!
Always have questions to ask at the end. These questions should always be about the company and careers path you could take there. Try to avoid asking about socials or time off, this will raise concerns to your interviewer. You can prepare questions, but you can also ask during the interview as it shows you are engaged. If you would feel more confident with your questions written down then be sure to bring your notebook, however, memorising them is even better!
A well-known technique which helps you to structure your answer better and it enables you to cover all the key points needed in an answer. Using this strategy is particularly helpful in response to competency-focused questions.
Situation – What you were facing
Task – What you had to do
Action – How you approached it
Result – The outcome
Reflection – What you learned
If you think it’s gone well, don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer that you want the job! It’s also important to talk about your interests outside of work. It’s not all about your employment history, companies want to get to know the real you so talk about your hobbies and show your personality!
Always be positive! Don’t say anything negative about any aspect of your previous roles. If any of your previous roles didn’t end well, you better have a good and truthful story which you need to prepare for so you aren’t caught short.
Now you are prepared for acing an interview, it’s time to send one of our team your CV and we will begin matching you with your next big career move! If you are looking for some more tips on preparing for a new role, follow our simple CV updating tips!
Recruitment Assistant by weekday, actor by the weekend. My double life is akin to Batman, except instead of a cool suit I sport vintage dresses, and the Piccadilly line replaces the Batmobile (just as sexy). As an actor I have spent oodles of money over the years on headshots to capture my best angles, in the hope I will catch the attention of a casting director swiping across Spotlight like your mate on Hinge.
Working in the vibrant Impact office with brilliant recruiters, I see many CVs in all shapes and sizes. Your CV is your headshot – it needs to capture your uniqueness and subsequently, our interest quickly.
What I have discovered is that there is no perfect resume formula, but there are particular aspects that can make yours as exciting as cracking open a box of Celebrations (gimme!). We encourage everyone to put their best foot forward so you can achieve your dream role, and it all starts with that killer PDF.
1) The profile is the first thing we see and we ALWAYS read it! This allows us to get to know you and where you can really sell yourself.
2) It’s important your employment history is clear, concise and to the point. Do your best not to write several paragraphs summarising your previous jobs, instead make a few bullet points outlining your key responsibilities, skills learned, and achievements.
3) On that note, make a separate list outlining your skills e.g. Premier Pro, Excel, C-Suite, administration, interpersonal, communication. Don’t be modest! We want to know how we can find the perfect job that aligns with your skillset.
4) Don’t leave your interests just on your dating profile, we want to know all about you too! If you spend weekends getting lost in the Tate Museum, love jogging, or have your own podcast, share it with us.
5) Aesthetic, baby! You’ve written some snazzy copy to grab our interest, now you can decide how you want it to pop visually. Canva is a great tool that is much easier to navigate than Photoshop with some great resume templates. Select the template you are drawn to
and voila! It looks as though you spent hours selecting the perfect colours and shapes when really, you’ve shopped for that template like a Wednesday night on Amazon.
6) Take the photo down, we are in recruitment not casting. We look forward to meeting you face to face, but until then your employment history is just fine.
7) Always include your contact details! You’d be surprised how many people send in their resumes without any way for us to chase them up.
Thanks for stopping by the Impact blog, I hope this has been helpful. We look forward to receiving your resume, and don’t forget to read our tips on creating the perfect LinkedIn profile!