by Michael Cheary
Struggling to find your perfect part-time position?
Chances are, it could come down to your cover letter. Especially if you’re guilty of sending the same one every time (or worse, not even sending one at all).
Think of it this way: a cover letter is often the first thing a hiring manager looks at, meaning it can be crucial in forming a positive first impression. So spending a few more minutes perfecting this oft-forgotten area of your application can really pay dividends when it comes to your career.
We’ve already covered how to perfect your part-time CV, but to help maximise your chances to impress, here’s our cover letter template specifically tailored for part-time positions:
Download Part-Time Cover Letter Template
Opening the letter
Aside from the standard letter writing basics (address, hiring manager’s name if you have it), the opening paragraph should be short and to the point.
Explain what job it is you’re applying for, and where you found the vacancy. One or two sentences, maximum.
I wish to apply for the role of Part-Time EA, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.
Second paragraph – Why are you suitable for the job?
Now the formalities are out of the way, it’s time to focus on your sales pitch.
Briefly outline any academic qualifications or experience you have which make you a perfect fit for the role. If you’re lacking experience, select soft skills which might help you get the role.
Hint: the ones you should include will always be found in the job description.
As you can see from my attached CV, I have over six years’ experience in office administration, and I believe the knowledge and skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.
Third paragraph – Focus on the part-time requirements
You might choose your cover letter to briefly explain the reason you’re looking for part-time work.
It could be that you’re still studying, and looking for something flexible to fit around your schedule. Or you’re raising a family and can’t dedicate yourself to a role full-time.
However, whatever the reason you choose to include, always take the opportunity to mention your versatility when it comes to working hours. It might help alleviate any fears an employer may have around your availability, not to mention open up the potential at securing a full-time role – if that’s something you’re interested in.
Just remember that you’re under no obligation to explain yourself, if it’s something you’re not quite comfortable with. You won’t necessarily lose marks for being vague.
I’m currently studying for my EA Diploma, and looking for a position which will enable me to dedicate more time to my course whilst I build my skills. However, I am extremely flexible, and happy to take on more work outside my contracted hours, wherever possible.
Fourth/Fifth paragraph – What can you do for the company?
Use actual, quantifiable examples to emphasise what you can do for the company.
These might be performance based, and could include examples from previous positions, your current job, or even from your academic career.
Always make sure you choose tangible examples that are specifically tailored to the role. Backing up your claims, such as ‘Increased revenue by x%’, will be far more desirable to a recruiter than simply stating you ‘Increased revenue’.
Other examples include ‘Improved productivity by X%, ‘an increase in students grades by x’ and ‘achieved a first class distinction grade in my dissertation on x’.
In my previous role as a full-time Office Administrator at Company Ltd, I was responsible for the reorganisation and recategorisation of the office filing system, as well as implementing a change in stationery supplier – which reduced costs in this area by over 20%.
Additionally, part of my role involved diary management for the company’s Managing Director, as well as typing up correspondence and meeting minutes, where appropriate.
Final paragraph – Reiterate
Finish off by reiterating your interest in the role, and why you’re the right person for a position.
Extra points will be given to any nod you can give when it comes to your research.
I am confident that this experience, coupled with the modules I’m currently undertaking as part of my Diploma (including budgeting, business document production and event management), will have an immediate impact on the business and allow me to help Company Ltd build upon their reputation as the biggest supplier of paper and packaging solutions in the UK.
Closing the letter
Finally, sign off your cover letter by thanking the recruiter for their time. It is also a good opportunity to indicate you’d like to meet with the employer for an interview.
Use ‘Yours Sincerely’ (if you know the name of the hiring manager)/’Yours Faithfully’ (if you do not), and your name.
Also, use this opportunity to include your contact details – just in case your cover letter ends up getting separated from the rest of your CV
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
[Your contact details]
Remember: This template is intended to be a guideline. Don’t be tempted to use it as a ready-made cover letter.
Without the proper research into the company, and without tailoring it to the role, it will lack the impact that could make all the difference when it comes to securing your perfect part-time position.
Still searching for your perfect position? Have a look at all of our current vacancies now.
3a Hales Court
1st September 2011
Canterbury CT1 2HX
Dear Ms Rice
I am starting my second year at the University of Kent and am seeking part-time work for the coming year. I am particularly interested in working for Fenmans as this is a busy, prestigious store where I could make use of my experience in working with the public and my Spanish and French language skills.
As you will see from my CV, I have considerable customer service experience through my Saturday position at Asco and my work as a waitress last summer. These posts gave me experience of working quickly and efficiently in a busy environment and I enjoyed the face-to-face contact with customers.
I would be available for work at weekends and on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons during term-time. During vacations I would be able to work full-time if required and would also be available to work in the evening when Fenmans opens late during the Christmas shopping period.
If you do not have any current openings, I hope that you will be able to keep my application on file for future reference.
Thank you for taking the time to read this application and I look forward to hearing from you.
Joanna Andrews (Miss)