Monday, March 01, 2010

Cover Letters - How to write one!

A cover letter is an important l part of any job application and should always accompany your CV. They are necessary for all types of job applications - cold calling, advertisement responses and referrals.
Yours should introduce your CV to the employer. It highlights your skills, abilities and relevant experience and provides the link between your CV and the employer’s requirements.

Your cover letter needs to stand out from others. A well written one will help the reader into wanting to know more about you. It will make the right impression and encourage the employer to not only look at your CV but to read it with interest.
All good cover letters need to include
  • Why you are interested in the job?

  • Why you are interested in the organization?

  • Why the employer should be interested in you?
Layout/ Style
Type/word-process your letter on good quality paper and only send a handwritten letter if the employer indicates that this is required.
Make sure the letter is neat and tidy with no creases, smudges or errors.
Attach your letter to the front cover of your CV. Send the documents flat in an A4 envelope.
Key tips
  • Customise the letter to the job

  • Limit the length to one page

  • Presentation should be attractive, professional and easy to read

  • Focus on what you can do for the employer, not the other way around

  • Be clear and to the point, using simple, business-like language

  • Vary the sentence structure and avoid overusing ‘I’

  • Don’t repeat the same information in sections of your CV. Highlight the main points and draw attention to the key information in your CV that matches you to the vacancy/company

  • Show your interest in, and enthusiasm for, the position, the organisation and the industry

  • Use the cover letter to clarify anything in your CV that may need explaining, such as career changes or gaps in your working history

  • \Proof read, proof read, proof read!! Then get someone else to check it before making the final copy

  • Sign the letter

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