18 December 2014
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How to write a cover letter

Along with your CV, it's also important that any covering letter is also written to a high standard. A poorly laid out cover letter can ruin your chances of getting invited to a interview just as much as a bad CV. A cover letter is a opportunity to grab the recruiters attention and to show them that your CV is worth reading.

  • Do not try to rewrite bits of your CV in your cover letter, keep it concise and too the point.
  • Be positive, make it interesting and ensure that it looks good and appeals visually to a reader.
  • Try to find out the name of the person who has advertised the job and address the letter to them.

Covering letters are always sent in as a application with your CV. Use them as a opportunity to impress companies with your writing and communication skills.

How to write a cover letter for a job

Stage 1
Research the employer you are applying to. Find out information like who their customers are, what products or services they sell and have they issued press releases or been in the news recently. Impress the recruiter by mentioning some or all of these points in your letter.

Stage 2
Read and analyse the job description. Note down in a list key skills and requirements that the employer is looking for. Focus on mentioning these in your letter. A good tip is to keep the job advert next to you when writing your cover letter so you can refer to it.

Stage 3
Start to write your cover letter. Firstly state that you want to apply for the vacancy advertised also give details of where you saw the advert. Focus on those qualifications and experiences you have that fit the job profile.

Mention why you feel that you are the right candidate for the job and highlight key words that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Another way of writing this is to point out why you feel that the job is right for you.

Do not exaggerate but write clearly and factually, listing why your skills and experience matches the vacancy. Mention how you can be a benefit to the company.

Stage 4
At the end of your cover letter thank the employer for their time and respectfully ask for the opportunity of a interview.

Other tips when writing your cover letter:

Your writing style
Be formal and professional, do not write in a laid back or informal manner.

Quality paper
Use good quality white paper only, 100 grams paper is ideal.

Print quality
Make sure that your letter is not smudgy and blurred. For best results use a laser printer.

Spelling mistakes
Proof read and use a spell checker to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.

Write a different cover letter for every job you apply for
Never send the same cover letter to every vacancy you apply for. By writing a letter for a specific company you can impress them by showing you have researched their company and taken the effort to write something especially for them.

Length of the cover letter
Keep your cover letter to one page and only have a maximum of 4 paragraphs in it.

Keep a copy
Always keep a copy of the cover letter and CV you send to a employer. You can refer to these if you are called for an interview.


Related topics:

How to write a CV

Cover letter examples

Covering letter

Example of a cover letter

Job acceptance letter

Job application cover letter

Writing a covering letter


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