Sometimes, a job doesn’t always work out the way we’d hoped.
If you’ve recently been made redundant, finding the right role to re-enter the workforce can be daunting. And, if it’s been a while since you’ve written a CV or cover letter, the idea of starting again can be an even greater cause for concern.
We’ve already focussed on how to write the perfect CV after redundancy. But being as your cover letter is the first impression a recruiter will get of your application, it’s just as crucial to get this right.
If you think you know the basics of how to write a cover letter, but want some more tailored advice, look no further. Here’s our cover letter template specifically designed for people who have been made redundant.
Just here for the template? Click the link below:
Opening the letter
The opening paragraph should be concise and to the point. Simply explain what job it is you’re applying for, and where you found the vacancy.
Feel free to mention your source by name (e.g. as advertised on reed.co.uk) or, if someone referred you to the contact, mention their name in this section.
I wish to apply for the role of Retail Manager, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.
Second paragraph – Why are you suitable for the job?
Briefly describe your most relevant professional and academic achievements to help sell your suitability.
If you have no specific academic or vocational qualifications to cite, focus on your relevant experience within the industry or use personal skills or attributes to show what makes you the perfect fit for the role. For a list of desired skills you could include, always check the job description carefully before writing your cover letter.
As you can see from my attached CV, I have over ten years’ experience in the retail industry, and I believe my extensive knowledge of the sector and sales skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.
Third paragraph – Explain the circumstances of your redundancy
The third paragraph is your opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding your redundancy.
If you have been out of work for a relatively short period of time, however, you needn’t dwell too much on the reasons. Keep it as succinct as possible, unless you feel more context is necessary.
Unfortunately, I was recently made redundant after seven years with the business, due to company closure. However, as the key achievements during my employment will demonstrate, this was in no way a reflection of my own work, and I see this as the perfect position to re-enter the industry.
Fourth/Fifth paragraph – What can you do for the company?
Once you’ve explained your redundancy, use practical examples to emphasise what you can do for the business – and place prominence back on the positives.
Focusing on your performance during your previous position in this section is a great way to reinforce your credentials (regardless of the reason for redundancy), but references to your academic career can also be used here.
Always make sure your examples are as quantifiable as possible. ‘Increased revenue by x%’, for instance, sounds a lot more impressive than simply stating you ‘Increased revenue’.
Other examples could include outlining your dissertation (e.g. ‘achieved a first class distinction grade in my dissertation on x’), or more quantifiable achievements you may have attained whilst in previous positions (e.g. ‘increased staff retention by x% during my time in employment’, ‘an increase in students’ grades by x’ etc.)
The position particularly interests me because of my passion for the fashion industry. In my previous role, I was responsible for managing the company’s flagship store, which was one of the biggest fashion outlets in the South East. I progressed to this position within the company after working as an Assistant Manager for two years at a smaller store.
I successfully managed the flagship store for a period of five years, which was also the top performing store in the region. Aside from hitting over 100% of revenue target in four of my five years with the business, I’m also particularly proud of the low staff turnover rate, which was at the lowest level of all our UK outlets and improved by 50% during my time as manager.
Fifth paragraph – Reiterate
Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and why you would be the right fit for the company.
I am confident that I can bring this level of expertise with me to your organisation and help Online Retail Company LTD build upon their reputation as one of the biggest fashion brands in the UK. I am available to start immediately.
Closing the letter
Thank the employer for their time. It is also a good opportunity to indicate you’d like to meet with the employer for an interview.
Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the name of the hiring manager)/’Yours faithfully’ (if you do not), and your name.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Remember: Just as with our standard free cover letter template, this is a template, not a ready-made cover letter. Without the proper research into the company advertising the vacancy, and without tailoring it to the role, it will lack the impact for which a cover letter can drastically improve your chances of reaching the interview stage.
The most important thing to remember here is that you’re not afraid to acknowledge your redundancy. It is not a reflection of your work, and you should never start doubting yourself when writing your cover letter.
Instead, place precedence on the positives and assure the employer that you’re ready for your next challenge.
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