How To Customise Your Cover Letter To Different Organisations

December 01, 2021

Cover Letter

You probably already know how to write a cover letter. But do you know you should customise your cover letter for each job application or company you are trying applying to?

Even if you have an excellent CV, a customised cover letter serves as your elevator pitch.

It demonstrates how your skills and experiences would be best suited for the organisation’s needs.

How do you customise your cover letter when applying to different roles?

Read on to find out! We even have cover letter examples at the end to guide your writing.

What is a Cover Letter?

A Cover Letter is an introduction letter or email that is sent together with your Resume in your job application.

It should contain 3 essential sections:

  • A brief career narrative and overall experience
  • A paragraph about your current or most recent role, and one or 2 achievements from this role
  • A passage convincing the hiring manager you are the right fit and how you can solve their pain points

If you already know how to write a cover letter, take the next step: Tailoring your cover letter to the organisation and role you’re applying for.

Why Customise a Cover Letter?

A customized cover letter makes the jobs of hiring managers easy.

It shows:

  • Your relevance to the company and the role
  • You’ve done your research on their hiring needs
  • Your enthusiasm for the role
  • Your best strengths and how you can contribute to their success

By being straightforward and sparking the reader’s interest, it becomes effortless for them to read your resume and call you for an interview.

How to Customise a Cover Letter?

Identify and Align With The Organisation

Working with a company that resonates with your values or career goals is vital if you want to perform well and enjoy your job.

Spend some time finding out what you truly want out of your job and which organisation aligns with your interests. Then, reflect these motivations in your Cover Letter.

Here’s a simple exercise we recommend:

  1. Draw two columns on a piece of paper and label them “Me” and “Them” respectively.
  2. Write down keywords that describe yourself and what you want from your job. In the “Them” column, write down information about the organisation you are looking at.
  3. Look at your “Me” list and classify them into career goals, values and personality traits. Link them to similar aspects in the company where possible so you can gauge how well you can fit in the organisation.

Tip: You may also allude to a company development, a new product, or relevant news that motivated or inspired you to want to be a part of the company. This shows them that you’ve done your research and that you are genuinely keen.

Some Examples include:

“I have been a loyal subscriber to your publication for the past 5 years and have always been impressed with your transparency and bold editorial stance despite political sensitivities and controversy.”
“I have followed [Company Name]’s developments for a while and recently read about your acquisition of XYZ, which is a monumental achievement for a fairly new SME like yours, only having been established in 2019”.

Understand The Job Description and Role

After you have narrowed down a few companies, read about the role again and ensure you address each key point in your cover letter.

Answering these key requirements in the job description is ideal because you’ll tick off more items on their checklist.

Inject these keywords into your statements as you go along with your cover letter. It’s a huge bonus if you show additional research beyond the job description.

If you wish to give more relevant examples, you can choose to direct the hiring manager to specific parts of your CV for more factual information.

Tip: Look out for keywords (e.g.  skills, qualities, and experiences) and make deductions on the qualifications required to carry out those duties. For instance, if the ad mentions public relations, you may point out having superb interpersonal and communication skills.

For Example:

Take this sample Job Description:

  • Accountable for team’s key metrics and timelines
  • Editorial ideation and content creation for textual, visual and video content focusing on the quality and differentiation of the content across our own channels
  • Ability to think cross-channel and visualise how different content angles can be brought to life across other channels
  • Manage the Lifestyle Editorial Calendar based on key events, trends and news that could impact personal finances, and SEO performance

You could tailor your Cover Letter like this:

“With my background in media communications, coupled with my experience at a lifestyle publication, I trust that I will be able to contribute towards your growth and performance, particularly by overseeing the team’s key metrics and timelines, managing editorial ideation and content creation across all mediums, and establishing the lifestyle editorial calendar based on key events, trends and news.”

3) Acknowledge Who You Are Writing To

Hiring managers receive cold emails from strangers everyday.

When a particular email addresses them personally, it is bound to stand out.

This does not guarantee that you will get hired, but it will certainly grab their attention to give your cover letter a proper read through.

We often write to the “HR department” or “HR Manager”, and forget that they too are actual people who would appreciate a personal touch.

One way to find out who you are writing to would be to search online for their contact information. LinkedIn‘s great for this!

Some companies or government websites also display information of their heads of departments online. The Singapore Government Directory is a good place to look if you are interested in jobs in the civil service.

If you’re being referred to a role by someone who is employed with the company you’re applying to, name dropping might do you good. However, do seek permission from said person before doing so.

Tip: Some job ads on LinkedIn display the names of the hiring managers who put up these ads. Alternatively, use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search tool to narrow down your digging or call the company directly to ask.

If your efforts turn out to be futile, try a warmer approach instead of the usual “To Whom It May Concern”. This could sound like:

  • Dear Hiring Team at [Company Name]
  • Good Afternoon, Hiring Manager
  • Dear Customer Service Hiring Team

4) Sell Something Unique About Yourself

As cliché as it sounds, only you can truly set your application apart.

So ask yourself:

What do you have to offer that is so original and outstanding that they just have to hire you?

Be direct and mention why you want the job and how your unique skills can be an asset for the organisation and its growth. Write them down in succinct sentences that deliver both confidence and clarity.

Hiring managers will also be more compelled to give you an opportunity if they can sense your genuine interest in the company and what they do.

Thus, do not be afraid to let them know your relationship with the company and how it came about! There is no need to go in-depth, but be memorable!

Here’s a sample tailored Cover Letter for a role at Samsung:

“My first phone was a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I have only upgraded my subsequent smartphones within the Galaxy S series ever since. As an avid techie who is highly familiar with Samsung’s technologies, I trust that I will be able to ensure the success of your future products and that they fulfil your evolving consumer demands.”

If you have a LinkedIn Profile, you may add a link at the bottom of your cover letter, but do spend some time updating your LinkedIn profile before you do. Think of it as another avenue for employers to get to know you better!

Examples of Customised Cover Letter Examples

While the above elements are critical for a customised cover letter, it is also key to use genuine and sincere language in an approachable tone.

Below are two customized cover letter examples for your reference. Good luck!

Customised Lecturer Cover Letter

Lecturer 1 791x1024

Customised Sales Manager Cover Letter

Sales Manager 1 791x1024

We hope you now know how to customize a cover letter for a specific job application!

For more writing guides for cover letters and cover letter examples, access our Career Resources.

Return to Ultimate Job Search Singapore Guide

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