Its aim is to build on the information you provide in your resume, and it must make sufficient impact on the reader to make them want to know more about you. It gives a personal touch to your job application which your CV cannot do, and is an ideal opportunity to match your skills and experience to those on the job specification.
With all of these points in mind, we have listed below tips that you should follow if you want to increase your chances of receiving more interview invitations. Advice and guidance on writing professional cover letters to go with any CV or job applications you make.
A covering letter example that demonstrates how you can show your understanding of the job and also highlight your relevant skills and abilities. Even if you have been offered a job over the phone, it is advisable to confirm your acceptance of it and the employment terms and conditions by letter. These are letters used for speculative approaches to employers enquiring if they have any vacancies. Below are links to sample resignation letters that you can use to advise your employer that you are leaving your job. After attending a job interview it is good practice to promptly send in a thank you letter to the person who interviewed you.
This will form the main part of your letter and it’s the bit where you can really sell yourself. Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the position. In this section specifically indicate why you are interested in the position by telling them what you are impressed with and what attracts you to them. Indicate your desire for a personal interview and that you're able to meet with the employer are their convenience. Remember to sign it off, this may seem old fashioned in this digital age but it's still a strong signal of your authenticity. Always try to address the letter to a specific person, preferably the decision maker, hiring manager or individual who has advertised the job. If you are applying for an advertised vacancy there is probably a contact name on that advert, and so address your letter to that person. Focus on using terminology, action words, buzzwords and sound bites that are appropriate for the industry.
A good technique when writing your letter is to keep the job advert in front of you so you can quickly refer to it.
Research the firm you are applying to, and try to incorporate your findings in your covering letter. Your aim is to find out any current news about them, their products and also how they are placed amongst their competitors. This is separate from researching the employer, instead you will be looking at the industry as a whole, as well as the vacancy itself. Companies are keen to hear how you may have made a positive difference with a previous employer.
Read the job advert carefully to make sure you haven’t missed any instructions on how to submit your covering letter and CV.
If you are sending your application by post then make sure that the recipient’s name, department and address details on the envelope are the same as at the top of your cover letter. This brand-new In-Focus report from Towards Maturity and Charles Jennings provides fresh evidence looking at the actions behind the numbers and the impact on performance. The 2015-16 Towards Maturity Industry Benchmark Report looks at how learning and business leaders can embrace change in order to improve performance on all accounts.
New research highlights how to shift compliance training from 'tick in a box' to creating a culture of compliance.Keeping up with the ever-changing regulatory environment is a constant challenge in almost all industry sectors. The 2015 Sector Benchmark Report for Mid-Sized Businesses (MSBs) is available to download at the bottom of this page. The 2015 Professional Services Sector Benchmark Report is available to purchase from our shop.
The 2015 Finance and Insurance Sector Benchmark Report is available to purchase from our shop. The 2015 Energy and Utilities Sector Benchmark Report is available to purchase from our shop. London UK, 25 May 2016: New independent research from Towards Maturity, supported by Kallidus, reveals that the retail sector may be wedded to formal learning and has yet to explore the benefits of social and informal learning despite its growing commitment to investing in learning technologies and building its internal learning team. What can today's learning leaders teach us about using evidence to support performance and capability?
Louise Pasterfield from Sponge UK explores Towards Maturity data to uncover practical ideas that could inspire change in your organisation.Induction matters. Mindset, behaviour, values and the ability to reflect, change and grow are all valuable characteristics - but are they being nurtured?
They should be seen by jobseekers as an excellent opportunity to communicate directly to the recruiter and a useful way to demonstrate their suitability for a job. On this page you will find a list of cover letter examples that are free for jobseekers to download, print and use to write their very own professional one.
It can help your CV to get noticed, is vital in creating a good first impression and can be a key factor in getting you invited to a job interview.
In the near future we are hoping to upload many more superb  designs, so check back regularly. By sending in a professionally written letter you will also reassure the employer that they have made the right decision. Effective ways to do this include name dropping, connecting to a common experience, or revealing some in-depth knowledge about the company.
Focus on showing a recruiter how much they can benefit from your contributions to their company, and also mention how you relate to the companies values and aspirations.
Conclude it by thanking them for their time and stating your anticipation of their response. It’s at this juncture that you have to start proof reading and revising your work, with a view to cutting out any unnecessary sentences. The last thing you want is for your letter to go to the wrong person (in which case it will probably be binned as no one likes receiving unsolicited mail), or to simply get lost within a company’s Human Resources department. If you really want to make sure your application is received you should even consider sending two letters, one to the hiring manager and one to the administrator or recruiter. These are a good way of showing you are up to speed with any current and relevant industry developments. By doing this you can ensure that you stay on track and keep focused on what the employer wants from applicants.
A cover letter is not an autobiography, stick to relevant facts, and remember that any additional information is superfluous and can be counterproductive. Use these sparingly to emphasize keywords that you want to be noticed, it is generally not a good idea to underline words.
You made have increased sales in your department by 100% over a short period, or you may have saved your company thousands of pounds by finding a cheaper supplier.
Remember if there are any mistakes then your application is likely to be rejected immediately, recruiters will be reviewing your attention to detail and your ability to communicate in writing.
Along with most organisations in the sample, increasing learning access and flexibility is a key driver for learning innovation through technology. However, twelve months on, there are still significant skills gaps in critical areas of business and commercial influence, understanding and technological ability amongst L&D professionals.
A consumer-focused, technology-enabled learning strategy builds business performance and employee engagement. However, they provide a great opportunity for constructive reflection.Everyone loves winning awards. Kirsty GreanyWhile it's easy to slip on the rose-tinted glasses when looking at the challenges of business 20 years ago, it's fair to say that the landscape has significantly shifted in the last couple of decades.
Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Explain what you can offer them, try to make sure that it is not just a list of what is in your CV but is individualised to the job application.
At the end you should also request action, like asking for a interview or inviting them to contact you. Addressing a letter in the correct way shows a professional attitude, and promotes you as someone who is more likely to be able to handle themselves properly if they need to represent the company on business. They are also looking to improve on-the-job productivity and reduce the time that people can spend away from their job in formal training, speeding up the application of learning into the workflow. Embracing Change is free to download, thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’ Ambassadors. Their input into this research provides benchmark values for key performance indicators and also allows us to articulate the characteristics of effective practice demonstrated by those that are achieving the greatest business impact.Benchmark respondents were drawn from 55 countries, with just 60% from the UK.


Very little work has been undertaken to consider how the smaller end of this group of 'large' businesses are performing and how they can improve on the L&D they deliver to staff. However, many programmes fail to achieve their potential, despite high levels of investment.
Organisations with effective induction are more likely to retain their new recruits for longer. Organisations are becoming more team-based, with flatter and less hierarchical structures that see five generations working together - often dotted across different locations, using technology to connect and work. The process also enables learning professionals to reflect on five key issues that impact on designing and delivering a modernised learning strategy. We hope that our contribution will help shape an environment where real-world research informs organisational improvement.
Although your ideas may be compelling, it's not easy to execute a plan without support, co-operation and collaboration from peers, stakeholders and business leaders.
In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).
The wording in these examples should be modified so that it fits your very own personal circumstances, and is targeted at the job you are applying for. A good way to complete this section is take the essential criteria from the personal specification given with the job advert, and then explaining how you full fill each one. If you are really keen on the position, then consider adding a line saying that you’ll give them a call to see how your application is progressing.
Instead of scattering lots of information in the hope that one piece would be relevant, highlight a few key relevant points. However, whilst improving training efficiency is paramount, retail businesses are also looking to improve the quality and consistency of the learning experience.
This research was conducted online in 2015, involving over 600 organisations, 17% of which were from MSBs - organisations with 250-999 staff.
Through a process of comparison with industry benchmarks, learning from those organisations that are achieving the best results from implementing an e-enabled learning culture, we can hope to improve performance and impact of learning and development programmes across all those in the Finance and Insurance sector. Entering awards can be a daunting and time-consuming process - an additional task on top of everyday work.
They get new employees up to speed quicker and help them reach their performance goals earlier.In its 2014 report about on onboarding, Aberdeen Group found that 68% of companies had no formal process in place. This may be time consuming and hard work, but your chances of success will be much greater. In this research, we look at the way in which people are using mobile devices for learning, as well as their willingness and motivation to learn in their own time.Fast Facts from this reportThe workforce has gone mobile.
It is the brainchild of three global business executives who saw a growing need for putting more knowledge in people's hands, in a format they could quickly absorb to stay current.Each of their summaries is formatted using their proven template to maximize knowledge retention. We review the strengths and weaknesses of implementation practices, as compared with top learning organisations who are achieving the highest impact from their implementation of learning technologies in the workplace.For example, despite setting impressive goals, our research shows that across a reference set of 19 drivers for investment, the average number achieving the benefits they seek across the sample as a whole was only 31%. However, there is a reluctance to change, so it is essential that the key barriers holding back the progress of L&D departments are tackled head-on.
The Towards Maturity team have investigated the impact of adopting new models of learning on business and performance using evidence from over 600 L&D leaders taking part in the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark.
We aim to provide insights by benchmarking both informally (drawing on the anecdotal experiences of others) and formally, by considering a framework of effective practices that define top performing learning organisations.In this report, we provide organisations with 250-999 employees with the evidence to help them modernise their learning strategy. This rises to 38% for the Professional Services sector, but this is still a long way behind the levels being achieved by the best. This rises to 32% for the Energy and Utilities sector, but this is still a long way behind the levels being achieved by the best. It provides L&D teams with the perfect chance to step back and think about what has led to current organisational successes, before sharing those stories and successes.There is nothing more satisfying at work than thinking over your recent activities and realising that there is a lot to be proud of!
We'll be digging into Towards Maturity's data to see what it tell us about changes in onboarding practice, as well as picking out some practical ideas that could inspire change in your own organisation.
They not only need to meet fundamental business targets, but must be dynamic problem solvers who know how to roll with (constant) change.Leadership and management skills really matter - and this includes mindsets, behaviours, values and the ability to reflect, change and grow.
Top performing L&D teams are 3-5 times more likely to be delivering improved productivity and agility today and have much to teach us. I have had the pleasure of working with them and their customers for a number of years and have seen first hand their commitment to identifying and sharing great practices that really work. However, the fact that not a single business is ranked in the top decile reveals that those organisations classified in the top quartile are at the lower end of that range. Those in top learning companies are achieving an average of 53% whilst those in the top deck achieve 63% of the benefits they seek. We review the strengths and weaknesses of implementation practices, as compared with top learning organisations who are achieving the highest impact from their implementation of learning technologies in the workplace.For example, despite setting impressive goals, our research shows that across a reference set of 19 drivers for investment, the average number achieving the benefits they seek across the sample as a whole was was only 31%. Only 13% of retailers are investing in blended learning while the average across all sectors is double that figure (26%), with top learning companies nearly three times more likely to be using blends than retail companies (35%). Seek, support and develop leaders right and you'll have more engaged, productive, and profitable businesses. It provides contemporary measures that focus on performance improvement and great tactics that help L&D teams become more responsive to the changing needs of business.
This research highlights the fact that L&D teams must develop new mind-sets and skills, quickly. L&D staff are better able to create engaging online content and apply principles of instructional design. They would need to almost double this proportion to match the percentage allocated by the top learning companies.
Towards Maturity's mission aligns perfectly with getAbstract's and we look forward to new collaborations that bring L&D professionals the resources they need, when they need it. When it comes to supporting a great learning experience, what can these individuals teach us?
You can also find these on page Download the InfographicThanks to the support of Acteon we've created a one-page infographic containing some of the key highlights from this year's Industry Benchmark Report. Demographics and Overview117 organisations with 250-999 staff76% of those were from the UK51% were from the private sector12% were operating in a single location within one nation65% operated in multiple locations within one nation, 23% were multinationalsAt first glance, the Towards Maturity benchmarking data portrays organisations with 250-999 staff as behind the curve when it comes to a modernised learning strategy. This rises to 37% for the Finance and Insurance sector, but this is still a long way behind the levels being achieved by the best. This may be due to a lack of required skills and knowledge, as the research indicates over half lack the confidence in incorporating new media in learning design and only 4% believe their L&D teams have the skills for facilitating collaboration.
Benchmarking can help you get started on your way to winning and help you clarify what's been successful - here are 6 perfectly valid reasons to use it.How benchmarking can helpWe are not promising that benchmarking will definitely lead to trophies in the cabinet.
So it's no wonder that companies spent nearly $31 billion on leadership programs last year.
It leverages the data of its in-depth Benchmark Study, the largest learning technology benchmark in Europe. They are more aware of the potential of technology-enabled learning, and they are much better tuned into the needs and priorities of their business. What is more 71% do not believe that their own staff lack skills to manage their own learning. Secondly, the scale of the work ahead, as 95% of respondents want to improve induction with only 39% meeting that goal.
Also, just 23% agree that their L&D teams have the skills to use technology for business advantage.
These are tried and tested approaches that we've used in partnership with our clients to produce effective and award-winning learning interventions that deliver impactful change.1. For example, only16% report that they are improving organisational performance through learning innovation8% report that they are improving performance managementImpact and EfficiencyThey are, however, realising significant impact from modernising their learning strategies through technology. Despite 65% operating in multiple locations in one nation and a further 23% with an international presence, their use of learning technologies in particular dramatically lags behind.MSBs are tech-enabling less of their formal learning than the sample average and significantly less than top learning organisations. With such a big gap between aspiration and performance, the induction challenge seems daunting but there is evidence that learning innovation is turning the tide. The benchmarking review process included questions on the priority skills for L&D professionals and how they are acquired. They are investing a lower proportion of their training budget on technology, and achieving lower take up and achievement rates.MSBs are realising significant impact from modernising their learning strategies through technology.
Here are six compelling reasons why benchmarking can help turn the possibility of being an award winner into a reality:1. For retail, overcoming line manager reluctance is causing the most problems:75% report a reluctance amongst line managers to encourage new ways of learning (75% average)71% report a lack of skills amongst employees to manage their own learning (63%)Budgets and BarriersIn the retail sector, nearly half (47%) of the responding organisations report an increase in learning budgets over the last two years and expect this trend to continue over the next two years. Embracing Change is free to download, thanks to the support of the Towards Maturity Ambassador programme. As a result, L&D activities are not always in line with how leaders are actively learning.
The Towards Maturity benchmarking process gets organisations, and L&D in particular, thinking on the right track.


Incredibly, ‘Top Deckers' are 50 times more likely than the lowest performers to improve talent strategies to keep their best people. These aren't the only source of future leaders, of course, as many other potentials are already in-house, out there to be recruited or returning to work after having children. However, the world of work is changing and organisations are increasingly looking for more modern approaches to learning that support the fast-moving world of work and the needs of an increasingly digital workforce.
The most notable increase in this sector has been in the desire to use technology-enabled learning to help implement new processes or new products. It’s a great place to start, if you want to establish a strong foundation for change.
Work with the subject matter expert or the business customer to identify the main objective of the programme. Most retail respondents (79%) have seen an increase in the budgets for technology-enabled learning and nearly half (47%) have experienced increases in team size, mainly in content development and instructional design.
Improving staff retention and informing customers of new products and services are less important than last year.
Our research with employees in this sector shows that staff are more able to learn for themselves than L&D give them credit for. Using real life ideas can help inspire new approaches that will make a difference in your own situation. The vast majority we talked with were frustrated by the lack of transfer back to the job after managers had participated in training. This will not only help you design the programme, but will also help you measure its effectiveness. It's very easy in today's busy world to not make time for reflection, yet reflection is critical to success.
Inspiration by example We've identified four techniques used by organisations in their induction programmes that relate to the tactics of the top performing organisations highlight in the Towards Maturity Industry Benchmark Report. The purpose of the Show is to inform and inspire L&D professionals to improve not just their personal performance but that of their organisation.
They are three times more likely to use benchmarking as a performance improvement tool - benchmarking against the tactics that improve performance.
By benchmarking you enable yourself to reflect, take stock and focus on the activities that really make a difference.2. While every organisation is different, examples of good practice and innovation in other companies can offer inspiration for change. First, it seems there's a lack of measures put in place for management and leadership training. By reflecting on and analysing organisational performance, activities and practices, L&D can identify organisational strengths and areas of high performance. Secondly, it seems that the learning strategy many apply to management and leadership training is often out of sync with the audience's needs. By downloading this report, you agree for your email address to also be shared with our sponsors (Please contact us directly for a copy if you do not wish for your address to be shared). The leading sports retailer has been providing online onboarding since 2013 with more than 25,000 employees, across the 19 countries going through the programme. Data from Towards Maturity reveals that 83% of new starters like to learn at their own pace, with 44% using their own mobile to learn.With this in mind, Sports Direct used the Adapt multi-device responsive elearning framework for its online content. Receive your Personalised Benchmark report analysing current performance and tailored action plans valued at £300 - free until 15 July.
Just as importantly, benchmarking identifies weaknesses and those areas of low performance. It means employees can access the elearning on a smartphone or tablet, giving them maximum flexibility.
You can read more about Sports Direct's approach to induction in Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. Only 39% offer mobile content, and 30% have no plans to implement social media for leadership development.
Towards Maturity data reveals that 87% of Top Deck organisations agree that top managers are involved in promoting learning, compared with an average of 37%.UK infrastructure company, Story Contracting features a video message from the company owner and Chief Executive, Fred Story in its new online induction. It's no wonder then, that there is a lack of transfer from learning to doing, if the learning doesn't fit in with everyday lives and habits in the first place and isn't focused on supporting performance there and then. The not for profit organisation champions better work and working lives and has been setting the benchmark for excellence in people and organisation development for more than 100 years. Pinpointing strengths and weaknesses enables L&D and business leaders to really hone in on performance. This isn't to say there aren't some great examples of modern, blended, performance-focused leadership development - there are some cited in Towards Maturity's paper.
What can we learn from these?How leadership solutions can #makeithappenIt's time to close the gaps and deliver the type of learning solutions that will engage and really help leaders. Benchmarking does what it says: it provides organisations with a benchmark to measure themselves against others. New staff and partners joining Specsavers are able to earn a virtual coin by completing the company's new induction course. To really help them, we need to offer easy to find performance support that is genuinely useful and relevant to leaders and managers' points of need.
You can use it to see how you are performing on various aspects of organisational practice compared to others. The business then makes a real cash donation to the charity chosen by employees in proportion to the number of virtual coins earned.You can read more about the Specsavers' approach here. Since 2003, over 4,500 organisations and 23,000 learners have contributed to Towards Maturity's leading benchmarks.
For example, have you properly embraced mobile learning and are reaping the kinds of benefits that some organisations are enjoying? But we also need to help develop those deeper skills and behaviours in ways that fit with leader's (crazy) lifestyles.
What are the top performing companies in the Towards Maturity benchmark doing in terms of mobile learning?
An average of 48% of Benchmark respondents reported that elearning not being tailored sufficiently was a barrier to success. As a baseline, that means moving away from solely ‘event' based learning - three-day workshops or long online courses - and embracing more resource or micro-learning approaches that provide short challenges and tasks as nuggets that help build skills and insights over time. It can be really useful to know what characteristics top performing companies have in common and what is driving their success.5. United Biscuits (UB), the company behind household names such as McVitie's, Jaffa Cakes and Penguin, wanted to make sure its induction programme was relevant to both new starters and any existing employees who might access the training.
We would say that providing simulations, interactive videos and meaningful games can make smart use of a leaders' precious time, and build the competence and confidence leadership roles require - so ROI for L&D too.
UB used video of real employees talking about their jobs to add relevance and authenticity to the content.You can read more about the experience at United Biscuits in HR Grapevine magazine.
This report gives clear, insightful indicators about your strategy's current strengths and how that compares to your peers. Supporting or providing social spaces for informal learning and sharing is key too - the how will depend on who your audience is and how they currently work together.Measurement comes into play here as you have managers, teams, and peers providing tailored feedback about performance and application.
The aim is to help L&D professionals focus on one area of action that will help them deliver impact. But leadership and management development is often holistic, and ongoing - like a journey rather than a series of interventions. And, if improving induction is your focus, there are more ideas in Sponge UK's Rough Guide to Induction. To track what tools, learning, and performance support is used by an individual is a bit of a red-herring - especially if you're genuinely offering it up to help them in anyway that works for them. Louise PasterfieldManaging Director, Sponge UK Louise has more than 20 years' experience in learning and design and is passionate about making elearning absorbing so staff can apply what they have learned immediately into the workplace.Her interest is in how best to harness technology so people can learn, grow and make a difference to their organisations. There has to be some bigger, business goals to be measured, alongside the individuals' performance or growth targets, and it might take a little while for the data to come in for these.
In terms of those millennials as future leaders - don't leave it too late before you start developing them. In Deloitte's report on this generation, Not only is this generation notoriously flighty and ready to up and leave within two years, but 70% of those ready to jump ship cite lack of leadership training as the reason why. Just think about how that Personalised Benchmark Report will help you deliver better results.Unsure if you are ready?Benchmarking will help you make up your mind if you should enter an award this year or wait until next year when you have had a chance to build further on current successes. So to attract and retain talent, and build leaders of tomorrow, open up those digital, multi-device resources -  simulations, diagnostics, videos, podcasts, tools and more to anyone who's interested.



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