What to put in your Jaguar Land Rover graduate cover letter
Although Jaguar Land Rover lets you choose whether or not you attach a cover letter, think about what it says if you decide not to. It could imply that you aren’t prepared to go the extra mile to achieve your goal – hardly a great way to persuade Jaguar Land Rover to hire you into its business.
Jaguar Land Rover recruiters will use your covering letter to get a better picture of your experience, reasons for applying and what type of employee you might be. Your CV will support this, too, but the cover letter is your chance to elaborate and inject a bit more human being into your application.
We recommend that your covering letter doesn’t exceed one A4 page and we suggest structuring it around the following points.
1) Open by introducing yourself
Here, you’re giving the recruiters the context they need in order to assess your application. Just as if you were meeting a Jaguar Land Rover recruiter at a careers fair, it makes sense to start by saying who you are: you don’t need to give your name (you’ll sign off with that) but you could include your academic year, subject and expected grade, for example. Tell them where you saw their graduate programme advertised and briefly describe the main career goal you plan to work towards if you become a Jaguar Land Rover graduate. If you’re applying to its finance scheme, for instance, you could mention how keen you are to gain your CIMA qualification in the next few years.
2) Why you?
You might think it’s obvious from your CV that a) you really want this job with Jaguar Land Rover and b) you have the skills for it. In reality, it’s your covering letter that makes your strongest points stand out. It also enables you to give examples to make you even stronger in the eyes of Jaguar Land Rover recruiters. Use it to argue why they should offer you a job.
Include examples of the skills and qualities you have that Jaguar Land Rover seeks in all its graduates. Its graduate recruitment brochure is a good place to start looking; it mentions qualities such as resilience and having a sense of responsibility. For example, you could say that you think you would fit in as a Jaguar Land Rover graduate because you are willing to take on responsibility, as demonstrated when you volunteered to train as a first aider so that your climbing club could carry on meeting.
You could also mention skills and qualities that are specific to your scheme. You may have to extrapolate these from the role description in the graduate recruitment brochure. For instance, you can deduce that Jaguar Land Rover wants its supply chain and logistics graduates to be quick learners who can handle multiple responsibilities, as the programme involves ‘absorbing all you can, whilst working towards chartered status with CILT…’. To demonstrate you are a quick learner, you could write something like, ‘I am able to focus on taking in lots of new information alongside other commitments, as shown when I worked weekends at a pharmacy, where I had to take basic assessments for working behind the drugs counter while also working on university assignments’.
The above is a good example of how ‘unrelated’ work experience can be used to support your application – and any related work experience is definitely something to which you should refer where you can as an example of relevant skills.
As well as extrapolating the skills that your scheme requires from Jaguar Land Rover's graduate recruitment brochure and website, take a look at its advertisement in this year's Guardian UK 300. Here you'll find a list of key core skills . Pay particular attention to the skills in bold – these have been identified by Jaguar Land Rover as extra important.
3) Why them?
This is why you need to tell Jaguar Land Rover your reasons for applying to them:
There are loads of graduate employers you could apply to if you want to work in the automotive industry; engineering graduates could easily choose to work in a different industry sector; and if you want to work in any of the non-engineering roles Jaguar Land Rover offers (property, finance and marketing to name but a few) you could apply to multiple other employers. JLR’s recruiters will be aware of this and will only consider applicants who they think will take the job if they are offered it. How do you convince them that you really want to work for them?
The best way is to say what you think stands out about Jaguar Land Rover in its products, as a business and as an employer. Base this on what initially comes to mind when you think of Jaguar Land Rover, and do your research to get more ideas. Look at the language Jaguar Land Rover uses to describe itself. There is mention of its ‘discerning customers’, for example – perhaps you are motivated by knowing that you are helping produce a high quality product that meets a very specific design brief.
Whatever aspects of the company you choose to talk about, tie it in to your own career development and ambitions, otherwise it will sound like empty flattery. For example, you could mention Jaguar Land Rover's announcement that from 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified and say that you are very keen to be involved in the development of electrified vehicles. This is a big topic in the automotive industry at the moment so if you are going to bring it up make sure you've read up on what Jaguar Land Rover is doing in this area. For example, which new electric models did it unveil from its past, present and future at its Tech Fest? You could also go one step further and investigate what its competitors are also doing.
Or, you could say that you are impressed that Jaguar Land Rover offers all graduate the support to get a professional or vocational qualification and that you want to progress your career by gaining chartership through IMechE during the next few years.
4) Close by signing off politely
Thank the recruiters for considering your application and say that you look forward to hearing from them.