When you need a cover letter, and how to write one!

Have you heard that the cover letter is no longer required when applying for jobs? Well, it’s true. But it isn’t. Whilst use of cover letters seems to be on the wane, they are still valuable in some circumstances, and we’re not sounding the death knell for them just yet.

Despite the rise of digital communication, a CV and cover letter are still the main way to get yourself an interview. The cover letter may now be in the form of an email, rather than on a piece of paper in the post, but it’s still important; sending a CV without any context at all is selling yourself short, especially if you have skills and experience which aren’t covered by your CV.

Here’s why, despite the cover letter doom-mongers, cover letters still have their place in the 21st century.

Do I need to write a cover letter

Cover letters give you a chance to explain gaps

Your cover letter provides one of the only ways to address gaps in your CV which may put off potential recruiters. The difference between getting into that interview room could be that you have provided a reason for your gap in work history. Employers trying find reasons to cut the number of candidates down may use your work history gap as an excuse. A cover letter lets you address this directly, and overcome this obstacle.

Have a look at: https://www.fastcompany.com/40516635/how-to-talk-about-the-gap-in-your-work-history

Cover letters allow you to provide context to your CV

When you move into different work fields, the skills you believe are relevant and help you stand out amongst the crowd might not be so obvious to an employer who hasn’t met you and is onto their 50th application. Your cover letter should explain why you want the job you’re applying for, and how your CV shows you’re the perfect candidate and a good cultural fit for the company. Connect the dots for your potential employer as they might not have the time or energy to do so themselves.

Have a look at https://www.forbes.com/sites/dawngraham/2018/02/06/ready-set-switch-make-your-resume-and-cover-letter-stand-out/#235c68e55ebf

As the article points out, cover letters are often read after the CV – once someone is interested they want to learn more.  If you treat your cover letter as an afterthought, it’ll read that way to the person you want to hire you. Make sure your cover letter explains why you want to have this job and remember that it’s your one chance to do this; don’t do yourself a poor job by letting spelling mistakes go unnoticed. Employers will want to know you put the effort into your cover letter, and one of the easiest ways to spot you didn’t is to pick up on a spelling error.

Make sure you craft a different cover letter for every job you apply for. You may not need to adapt your CV too much each time, but you should your cover letter. You need to show you’ve read the job advertisement and that you have the skills and experience required, or why you don’t!

Need to know more? See: http://uk.businessinsider.com/biggest-cover-letter-mistakes-2015-3

Cover letters allow you to show your personality

A CV is great at giving employers your educational and professional headlines but they don’t provide much scope for personality. While you can alter your qualifications and professional experience on your CV to an extent, you can and should change up your cover letter to suit each job you’re applying for, and you get to inject some personality too. CVs can be terribly dull – cover letters don’t need to be!

Cover letters make the employer’s job easier

The employer doesn’t want to read every word of every CV they get. Grab their attention in the first paragraph of your cover letter and their job is easier, and you’re more likely to get on to the shortlist.

Recruiters and employers are not psychic, and a cover letter can tell them the who/what/why/when very quickly and painlessly. Don’t make your employer’s life difficult before you’ve even started work for them.

Our verdict – while we don’t necessarily need to see a cover letter for every job we recruit for, it can often be a good thing, as long as it’s not a copy and paste job – and yes, we can spot these a mile off. If you feel you need to provide one to explain the finer points, then please do. But if you don’t, then don’t!

If you need help writing a CV, check out our CV clinic 

Writing a CV and a cover letter for a leisure job

Batten down the hatches – the new year is coming!

New year leisure recruitment

We are fast approaching the end of the year and beginning of 2019. With that in mind in the world of leisure recruitment, our minds turn from staffing luxury fragrance counters for the madness of the festive period to preparing for the stampede of new members in gyms and fitness centres across the UK.

While shops and restaurants are taking a well-earned breather in the month after Christmas, gyms and health and fitness providers see a massive upturn in business. Starting new year’s resolutions and fighting to work off the thousands of extra calories consumed over the Christmas period sees an increased demand for health and fitness services. In the leisure industry, we call it ‘the Golden Quarter’, and as leisure professionals, we have witnessed it ourselves, year after year.

With rises in total membership and reports of the growth of the industry, fitness operators nationwide are bracing themselves. Temporary skilled recruits are vital at this time of year. Whether it be membership sales consultants or temporary personal trainers to help with the influx, here at 4 Leisure we have an experienced team on hand to fill those gaps.

Looking for a new leisure job?

Likewise, if one of your resolutions is to get a new leisure job then now would be a good time to try out a new role on a temporary basis. Temporary work not only gives the chance for a trial for both the employer and the employee, but it can give vital training and experience for those who are trying to break into the industry. Or it could simply be a good way of getting a few more paid hours in while you can.

Do you need extra staff for your leisure business?

If you are a leisure business and are currently planning for January then get in touch we have a dedicated team who can tailor a recruitment package specific to your needs.

Here are some of the challenges involved in managing members of your health club.

Research from Mintel has shown that spending on fitness remains strong, despite a credible threat from fitness technology. Member retention can be an issue, however, with some members citing unfriendly staff as a problem. It is imperative that the staff you hire are aware of the impact that they can personally have on your gym’s success.

Read this article for more information – http://www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/health-club-management-features/Mintel-UK-Health-and-Fitness-Club-Report-2017/32014

Recent intervention into gym membership deals by the CMA has made it harder for gym operators to lock clients into long-term contracts. This is a good thing for the client and makes gym membership an easier option, however, it does mean that gym brands can no longer rely on long-term commitment from clients and it will be necessary to find other ways to keep clients happy and paying for longer. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gym-users-to-get-better-deal-in-2017

The idea that you can take advantage of someone’s good intentions in the new year and keep them paying for two years or longer has all but disappeared, and gyms are now having to work harder at client retention. The result should be happier clients whose needs are being met continuously and not just until they sign the membership contract.

That doesn’t mean that people will not be looking to join a gym after Christmas. However the government intervene in membership business models, people are still human and will be making all the right intentions to change their behaviour and health habits throughout January and into February.

If you need staff to plug a few holes and get those paying customers on board and happy for as long as possible, get in touch with our temporary division now.

temp gym recruitment

Photo by Martin Barák on Unsplash

Recruiting temporary staff for Christmas

Temporary and seasonal leisure staff

Is it too early to start talking about Christmas yet? Not for us. This time of year brings increased demand for good people in many sectors, retail, beauty, catering and hospitality. Christmas brings the annual surge in spending across the high street and in the leisure industry. Anyone who’s visited a gym in January can’t deny that even gym membership is seasonal!

Unless your name is Santa Claus and you have an abundance of little helpers ready to work extra hours, you may need to hire some temporary Christmas staff. Many industries hire temporary workers in the run-up to the festive season and there are plenty of people who are happy just to work during this period for one reason or another.

Christmas temps

If you want to recruit temporary staff for Christmas, here’s what you need to do

  • It is important to remember that temporary staff have legal rights the same as permanent employees. You the employer have legal obligations to your temporary workers. Employment legislation such as minimum wage needs to be adhered to. You can get more advice on these aspects of employment law at http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4587
  • Seasonal workers can be a positive influence on your company. Most enjoy working during busy, festive periods and their enthusiasm can be of great benefit both to your customers and to your permanent employees. Marginalising temporary employees by treating them as if they are not a legitimate part of the team can be a missed opportunity to inject some welcome festive cheer into your business.
  • Look at your temporary staff as on audition for a permanent role. Having the chance to try someone out on a temporary basis can be a great way of finding a superstar. Give your temp workers a chance to shine and you could uncover a real gem. Learn more about our Temp2Perm solutions
  • Depending on what they are going to be doing, temporary team members may need as much onboarding as a permanent employee. You can’t expect a new employee, whether temp or permanent, to know instantly how you do things, especially in a customer-facing role. While temps always have a welcome breadth of experience to draw on and are good at adapting to new environments, if you need things done a specific way then you need to invest some time showing them the ropes. Temp workers are good, but they’re not psychic!

We have many years’ experience in supporting beauty, spa, retail and leisure businesses by finding, placing and retaining quality temporary and permanent staff in leisure jobs. If you know that your business is about to enter a busy and profitable period and you are in need of some of Santa’s little helpers to help support this, then get in touch.

We can help you by supplying……

  • Beauty retail staff
  • Lifeguards
  • Health and fitness professionals
  • Catering and hospitality staff
  • Leisure sales staff

busy Christmas shopping period

Do recruiters use social media to check on candidates?

Do you think about what you post on your social media accounts? If you’re looking for a job then you should!

Recent research by CareerBuilder found that around 60% of recruiters in the US use social media to garner more information about a candidate. We imagine it’s a similar story here in the UK, though we’ll leave it to you to guess whether we are in the 60% ourselves!

Read the full article at – http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2016/04/28/37823/

Do recruiters use social media

The truth is that it is irrelevant whether you think it’s ethical for a recruiter to check out your personal social media feeds because it goes on regardless. It is part of a recruiter’s job to make sure their client is getting the best possible candidates for consideration. If you’re actively looking for a job, then you need to be careful what you post.

You may think that no-one really looks at your social media postings but once you cross the line and post something, it’s no longer a secret. Whether you have 1 follower, or 1 million, the content is there for all to see. Let’s hope Gary Lineker doesn’t regret this tweet from earlier this month.


Whether or not Gary is right or wrong in his early assessment of Leicester City’s likely league finishing position, it would take a very brave man to go back on this promise, especially as it’s been retweeted over 33,000 times, taking the reach of this lone tweet into the millions. OK, Gary is a very famous seller of crisps and will inevitably attract attention, but when you’re looking for a job, you’re trying to catch the attention of potential employers and those tasked with working on their behalf. Probably best to not give off a bad impression of yourself.

To make a bad impression of yourself, according to the research, you should use bad language, use inappropriate or provocative photos, show yourself up as a racist or bigot, bad-mouth your current or former employers, or show general poor communication skills.

To create a good impression, you should use a professional photograph, share updates which support the skills you claim to have, and have good communication skills.

It’s not a good idea to stay off social media altogether either – around 40% of employers say that lack of digital presence is off-putting. Maybe in this age of almost everyone using social media, it looks suspicious if you don’t.

So what can you do? First of all, look at all your social media accounts and put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. Is there anything in there which would make a recruiter think twice before recommending you to an employer?

Then improve your accounts. Can you add positive stories to your accounts which reinforce your professional image? Can you replace your dodgy profile pic with something more professional, for example.

Going forward, employers have been known to use social media to keep a check on employees, so don’t think that the game stops once you’re safely in the job. Be mindful of what you post on social media all of the time – you never know who might be watching!

Why not follow us on social media too?

4Leisure get social!

There’s no doubt that social media has been a huge phenomenon over the last few years. Since the days of MySpace and various rivals in the 2000s, all sorts of people have been finding their favourite platforms to socialise and network online.

As a specialist recruitment agency we understand that social media can be both a threat and an opportunity to our operations. While in theory it can mean that companies can do their own recruiting for very little cost, we have found that it’s not such a black-and-white picture. There are still advantages to using an agency, and getting the word out about a vacancy is just a very small part of a successful recruitment process.

Nevertheless, we see social media as a good thing for recruiters and job seekers alike. You may have noticed our growing social media presence recently as we get more comfortable with using it and are finding it to be a useful tool for reaching job seekers and broaden our many and varied candidate pools. It’s also a lot of fun!

If you ‘do’ social media, then please come and say hello to us. We are on…..


Please come and like us at 4LeisureRecruitment. On here we share all of our jobs, and news items you may find interesting. We also have a Job of the Week every Friday. Facebook is a great platform and there’s not many people who haven’t heard of it, or use it. By Facebook’s last figures, there are more adults on Facebook than not. Facebook is popular with all ages, and for many people is the only social network they use. It is sometimes a struggle because Facebook are trying to get companies to pay-to-play and are squeezing the filters even tighter. If you want to see all our posts, please come and visit our page regularly as it’s inevitable that you will miss some jobs and you never know, the one you miss might be the perfect job for you!

If you’re interested specifically in Lifeguard or Spa jobs, we also have separate pages for these too.  We post up the relevant jobs here as well as industry chat.


We LOVE Twitter! Twitter has been the fastest growing social network over the last few years with around 135,000 new accounts created every day. There are over 2 billion active searches on Twitter worldwide daily.

Twitter is a great way of reaching a younger audience. Those searching for entry level jobs are active on there, shunning the now uncool Facebook in favour of something faster and sharper.

We post all our jobs up on Twitter automatically – as soon as the job is on our website, it’s also on Twitter. Twitter is very fast-moving and if you blink, you’ll miss a tweet or two, but the searchability makes Twitter a winner for us. You want a #job as a beauty therapist? Do the search and you’ll find lots, and some of them will be ours!

Come and follow us over there. We have a main account – @4Leisure – one for lifeguards @4Lifeguards, and one for Spa and Beauty @4LeisureSpa


We are on LinkedIn! Are you? We have a company page at 4Leisure Recruitment, and a discussion group at 4Leisure group.

We find LinkedIn is a fantastic way of reaching out to those looking for a management or senior role, and for keeping up with industry developments with professionals who are not necessarily active on Facebook.

This article from Recruitment Buzz discussed whether LinkedIn is the biggest threat to us as recruiters, but we certainly don’t think so. Sharing news of job vacancies is only one part of the process, and LinkedIn has given us just another way of sharing those vacancies. If anything, LinkedIn is helping us to reach you or your next brilliant employee.

Using LinkedIn in tandem with more mass-market platforms such as Facebook allows us to reach employers and candidates all the way up and down the job ladder.


We are also on Google +. Yes, it’s not mass-market yet and it’s still full of IT professionals and bloggers, but Google+ will be popular soon and we’re getting ahead of the curve! Google have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into making Google+ the ultimate social network and we have to admit that it’s pretty good. It has the best of all the social networks – you can have one-way relationships like Twitter, with the content-rich postings of Facebook. We love the AutoAwesome feature, and are looking forward to using it more.

If you’re on Google+, please come and connect with us over there and we’ll muddle through together.

And if you’re looking for a job using social media?

Our advice to you is to do it! Use Twitter to search for vacancies, like Facebook pages of recruitment agencies operating in your industry, and get on LinkedIn. Make your profiles searchable and let people come and find you too. Project an online image which is desirable to employers, and get networking.

From www.SocialTalent.co

Spa & Leisure Recruitment Agencies not compliant?

Shocked to hear how many other Spa and Leisure Recruitment Agencies are not making their clients aware of the Agency Workers Regulations.

Introduced in October 2011, AWR was brought in to protect the rights of temporary workers and stop them being exploited. It sought mainly to ensure that temporary workers receive the same benefits that permanent workers in a similar role receive.

But it would seem that AWR is not being explained to leisure operators, many of whom have never heard of it. We spoke to several of our current and new clients last week and none of them had ever been spoken to about AWR by their previous suppliers. Is this a case of their Agencies burying their head in the sand? Or just not understanding it?

It’s true that AWR is complex and has caused all kinds of administrative headaches for both agencies and clients alike, but it’s not going anywhere and avoiding it altogether is as good as asking for a claim to be made.

From a client perspective, if your agency isn’t talking to you about AWR and how they are protecting you from claims, you should seriously think about who you’re using. Just because it’s leisure, doesn’t mean it’s shouldn’t be professional.

For more information of AWR and how 4Leisure can provide a cost-effective, professional and compliant service, contact one of our Specialist Consultants on 01895 450640.

Not just a one trick pony!

Very impressed with the 4Leisure Team with the diversity of roles filled in the last quarter. Whilst some may assume that we just service the operational face of leisure businesses, the Team set out to prove that if you’re a good recruiter, your can recruit for anything!

We’ve even surprised ourselves with a couple of these:

  • Property Manager
  • Trainer & Business Development Manager
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Client Implementation Support Technician
  • Maintenance Assistant
  • Contact Centre Team Manager
  • Group Retention & Product Manager

If you think you can provide us with a suitable challenge, get in touch!