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Writing a good Cover Letter

Tips For Writing a Good Cover Letter

Wall Street Journal - Counter Offer Advice

If you are going to write a cover letter then it needs to be done with thought and care – if you don’t have the time then rather don’t write a cover letter at all as it can be as damaging to your chances.

The purpose of a cover letter is to secure an interview. The cover letter also informs the potential employer of which position that you are applying for and that the supporting materials are attached. 

A cover letter can be used to:

  • Highlight relevant experience, qualifications and attributes for the job for which you are applying
  • Reflect your attitude
  • Provide specific information not covered in your CV (i.e. Availability: 1 Calendar Months notice)

A cover letter should capture the recruiters or employer’s attention and motivate an employer to interview you. The opening should appeal to the reader. If you don’t really have anything meaningful to say in a cover letter than rather do not write one. There really needs to some specific information that needs to be highlighted or is additional to your CV to justify the employers’ time in reading an individual letter.

Here are some quick tips for writing a good cover letter:

  1. Should be addressed to the correct person
  2. Should have an introductory paragraph, body, and concluding paragraph
  3. The introductory paragraph should explain why you are writing i.e. saw your advertisement...
  4. Keep it lean and to the point
  5. Keep it positive
  6. Include keywords: A recruitment agent will scan your cover letter for relevant keywords.
  7. Keep it simple and professional without fancy fonts, borders or colours
  8. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors
  9. Do not hand write a cover letter – it must be typed
  10. At the end of the letter consider requesting an interview in closing
  11. Make sure your contact details are on the cover letter as well as on your CV for ease of reference

Remember that the person you are writing to is probably busy so it is important to be efficient in your communication. A badly thought out, worded or presented cover letter will do more damage than good.

Consider if a follow-up letter or telephone call after you have sent your CV will be more effective than a cover letter in securing you an interview.

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Writing a good Cover Letter