Before you are granted a job interview, a cover letter is the first means to communicate with your potential future employer. So you should spend some time to prepare it to give a good impression to employers. The following are tips for writing a cover letter.
You should be polite in writing the letter. In addition, try to show your strengths and enthusiasm in applying for the job advertised. Use positive words such as pleased, keen, devoted and strong.
The letter should not be too long (2-3 pages) or too short (only 1-2 paragraphs). One page with 3-5 paragraphs is desirable. Human Resources staff do not have much time to read through all applications. So, they will not choose long cover letters to read. For short letters, it is impossible to tell the employers much by one or two paragraphs only.
At the beginning, you should state the job position you are applying for. Companies may be recruiting a number of positions at one time and it would be helpful if you state the position clearly to avoid being considered for the wrong job. Do not repeat information in the resume. Instead, address the job requirements and tell the employer why you think you are suitable for the position. You can state your skills and your personalities which match the job requirements. Even if you do want to mention your experience, highlight the accomplishments only. You have to state clearly the documents you are attaching to the letter, including resume, portfolio of work or reference letters. In the last paragraph, let the employer know that you are available for job interviews and how they can contact you.
Remember to sign your letter if you are going to send it by post.
After you have finished writing the letter, read it over and over again to make sure there is no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Don’t just rely on the spellcheck programme installed in the computer. Sometimes a word is not misspelled, but it is used wrong. In such cases, spellcheck programmes may not be able to detect them. Even one single mistake in the letter will give a bad impression to the employer. Don’t lose a mark because of that.
Use quality white A4 paper to print your letter. Give enough space between the paragraphs so that the recipient can read your letter comfortably. Remember that every job has specific requirements, and it is essential to tailor the cover letter to every job you apply for. Don’t make it a “standard” letter by just changing the company name and position you are applying for and then sending it out every time. In addition, keep a copy of the letter for future reference. You may find this helpful when you are later granted an interview for that position.
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