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10 Tips To Writing The Perfect Cover Letter
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10 Tips to Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

It’s important if you’re applying for jobs that you put as much effort and attention to detail in writing the perfect cover letter, as you would to writing a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or completing an application form. The cover letter is important because it is the first document that is likely to be looked at by anyone short-listing, so it is important that you attract the reader’s interest enough to make them want to find out more about you and look at the rest of your documentation.

Remember first impressions stick, so if your cover letter is poor that is likely to be the final view of you. It may be a tall order to write the perfect cover letter and who is the judge of ‘perfect’, but it is something that you can aspire to and do everything to make sure you sell yourself as a suitable candidate.

1. Follow instructions: Sometimes an organisation may say what they want included in a cover letter. If they do – make sure that you follow this exactly.

2. Include contact details: Ensure that you have your name, the right address and a contact telephone number on. Don’t assume that this information is on your CV. It’s too easy for documents to be separated from each other.

3. Write to the named person: Make sure that you address the letter to the person stated in the advert, and include the company name and address. Remember this is a formal letter, so you won’t be using the persons first name.

4. Don’t use a standard template: You need to ensure that your letter is personal and is specific to the job you are applying for. Organisations will not appreciate an obviously standard letter with just a different company name on it.

5. Structure your letter: Your letter needs an introduction eg why you’re writing, a main body (3 or 4 paragraphs) addressing specific issues and a conclusion. You should finish by saying that you look forward to hearing from them.

6. Highlight key points: In the main body of the letter highlight the key points from your CV that you think the recruiter will be most interested in, using action words to highlight your achievements. Be careful not to just use the same words that appear on your CV.

7. Match yourself to the job: Although you cannot include the detail of your CV or application form, it’s important that you include enough points in your letter to show that your skills and experience match the key criteria of the job and person specifications.

8. Show some knowledge: Recruiters want to know that you are interested in working for their organisation, not just any organisation. Do your research and make it clear in your letter that you have done your research and your reasons for wanting to apply for the job.

9. Be concise: Most recruiting experts will advise that cover letters should be no longer than one side of A4. There is no point in just repeating what is in your CV in a cover letter.

10. Be accurate: Ensure there are no spelling, grammar or careless typing errors and don’t forget to sign your letter.

It’s important when trying to write the perfect cover letter that you remember that many recruiters use the cover letter as a screening process. A poor cover letter could mean that you miss out on the opportunity for being interviewed for your ideal job. Take the time to get it right.


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