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How to write a covering letter


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When you’re applying for new jobs, your covering letter is just as important, if not more so, than your actual CV itself. As well as demonstrating your writing style and ability to express yourself in a clear and concise manner, the covering letter is also your opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.

It’s about you

Treat it as a ‘nutshell’ introduction of yourself, highlighting those skills which are relevant to the position while adding a more personal touch than the standard CV allows. It should tell the company enough that they want to continue on to your CV for more detail.

Why do you want the role?

Discussing the position you are applying for and why you think you would be a suitable candidate also shows that you have taken the time to write a letter specifically for that vacancy, rather than just blasting out applications with a brief ‘please find my CV enclosed’ letter.

However, the covering letter will only work if done properly. If you don’t do it well, it will have the complete opposite effect; sending letters with spelling mistakes and poor grammar for example, will put your application on a fast track into the bin.

Here are some tips on how to write the perfect cover letter to help you on the way to securing that dream job:

  • The cover letter should never be longer than one page of A4
  • Remember you should give a snapshot introduction to make the employer want to know more, rather than chapter and verse.
  • Make sure it’s seen
  • If you are emailing your application, write your covering letter in the body of the email so that it can be seen straight away and to avoid the message being misidentified as spam.
  • Keep it clear, concise and to the point
  • Include a bit of background about yourself, why you want to work for the company and what skills you have that are relevant to the role.

Get the right tone

The tone should be informative, yet personal and in your own words rather than using long-winded clichés. Over-used buzz words such as ‘team player’, ‘blue sky thinker’ and ‘motivated’ can become very tedious when you have read dozens of CVs and covering letters. Make yours stand out by keeping to the point.

covering letter

Triple check it

Spell-check, proof read and double proof read. It may also help to get someone else to proof read it through for you as it’s easy to get blind to errors when you have looked at something several times.

Make it personal

Make sure it is addressed to the person who is handling the recruitment process so that they feel you really want that position, rather than it being one of 50 identical letters you have sent out. If the job advert doesn’t give a name there’s no harm in putting a call in to the company to find out. You could also include a brief understanding of the company and why you have decided to pursue a position with them.

Relate your skills to the job/role

This shows that you have taken the time to consider how you can benefit the company.

End correctly

Remember to end your letter with ‘yours sincerely’ if you have addressed the letter to a specific person. If you have addressed to ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ then ‘Yours faithfully’ is the one to go for.










About Linda Ram

About Linda Ram

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