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Cover Letter Tips

Don’t underestimate the power of a cover letter. It becomes hard to see how important they are when you are sending out 20 applications a day, but this is you’re opportunity to communicate directly with a recruiter and let them know who you are. Chances are that they will receive hundreds of applications, so the Cover Letter is a chance to make yourself stand out.

Here are a few simple tips to help create a good cover letter.

  1. Spellcheck!
    This applies to everything, check names addresses contact info and the bulk of the letter. Spellcheck on a word processor only goes so far, so if you are unsure ask a friend or family member to check it for you.
    In these tough job hunting times, it’s important not to let a silly spelling mistake put you in a recruiter’s no pile.

  2. Keep it brief.
    Keeping your cover letter to a side of A4 ensures that a potential employer doesn’t lose interest and it also means that you have to work harder to make everything you say relevant. Operate on the system that if you can’t fit it in the cover letter reasonably then it isn’t worth putting it in, everything must be relevant to the role you are applying for.

  3. Who are you addressing this to?
    Wherever possible try and address your cover letter to the person responsible for overseeing the application process. This adds a personal touch and also shows that you have taken the time to research the role and the company you are applying to work for.

  4. Research!
    Following on from the above point, research into the job and the company you are applying for, being able to include what the company does and how you can adapt to this role will let the employer know that you are serious about applying for this position and this is also information that will be invaluable in an interview situation.

What to include in your Cover Letter.

  1. Opening the letter
    The opening paragraph should be short and to the point and explain why it is that you’re writing. 
    Example: 'I would like to be considered for the position of ‘IT Manager’.
    It is also useful to include where you found the ad i.e. as advertised on or, if someone referred you to the contact, mention their name in this section.

  2. Second paragraph
    Why are you suitable for the job? Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to each of the skills listed in the job description.

  3. Third paragraph
    Here’s your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the company. Outline your career goal (make it relevant to the position you’re applying for) and expand on pertinent points in your C.V.

  4. Fourth paragraph
    Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and why you would be the right fit. It’s also a good time to indicate you’d like the opportunity to meet with the employer for an interview.

  5. Closing the letter
    Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your name.