If you think your cover letter is good enough, think twice

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cover letter

The cover letter attached to your resume is your first self introduction to the hiring manager of the company you desire to work for. So make it a good one.

Cover letters provide you a chance to capture the attention of your prospective employers and demonstrate the qualities that stand you out from the rest of the candidates. Your cover letter should complement your resume by highlighting the most relevant aspects relating to the position. If you are not sure of the qualities or skills required, try to work out what they are likely to be or consider a similar position you have seen elsewhere.

Before you hit the “send” button, have a look at these six not-to-be-missed tips to ensure your cover letter is good to go.

Cover Letter Checklist

Length
One A4 page, well spaced, text aligned to both left and right.

Language
Be clear and concise. Use strong verbs which demonstrate action and accomplishments, such as “organise” and “supervise”.

Name, Title and Address
Find out the details of the contact person (including all spelling) in the organisation and address your letter accordingly. Don’t forget to include your address, phone number and email.

Layout
State clearly the position you’re applying for in the introduction. Commence with the reference number, followed by your reason for applying and a summary of your unique skills/qualifications.

Substance
Identify your skills, experience and attributes that match what the employer wants. Look for keywords in the advertisement and address the main elements. For example the advertisement might say: “This position requires an outgoing person with demonstrated capacity to work in a team”. The keywords here are “outgoing”, “demonstrated” and “team”. Show you meet these essential criteria to increase your chances of an interview.

Proofreading
Essentially you need to stand out from the rest, but not by misspelling the company’s name! So proofread, and proofread again!

 

This article was originally published on Hays.

 

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