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Cover Letter 101

Date Added: October 06, 2011 03:22:48 PM
We have made this into a list so that it’s easier to read and refer to. We hope it’s of use and helps clarify some of the questions and hurdles that people come up against when writing cover letters.

1. Have you been asked for a covering letter?
A) If the answer is no then clarify with the person in control of response to the job posting if they require one or if you supplied one would it help with your application. It is not unusual for recruiters to say no and employers to say yes. So, when possible ask the right person. An employer is the key stakeholder in this scenario and it is their opinion and requirement that needs to be satisfied.

2. If asked for a covering letter then do you need to send one?
A) Yes, absolutely!

3. How should it look?
A) It is very similar to a normal letter formatting. Match this to the standard letter format of your country or the country of the addressee.

4. How long should it be?
A) Keep it concise and to one page. It needs to complement your CV and not compete with it.

5. What information should it contain?
A) This part really needs you to focus on the Job description and what was actually asked for. If you fail to get this correct then your application is at risk.

Check list:
Always use the reference number(if given), the job description and to make you stand out just a little more than everyone else - include where you saw the job description. This last part will help the employer to funnel down which channel has been an effective advertising platform.

Ensure you have a name for the recipient:
Ring the company up and ask to whom you should address the letter. If you explain why you are ringing then the person taking the call will give you name or point you in the right direction. Then use the name formally, i.e. Dear Ms Jones, .

Explain why you are applying:
Do not ramble! Within maybe three lines you should be able to give the reasons why.

Show research:
Take a look at the business web site and other links on the internet and if you find positives and connections to the role that you are applying for then ensure that you reference this. It will show the reader that you have done some homework are genuinely interested in the company. You may also find if you secure an interview that the research may give the an extra edge as it is usual to be asked what you know about the current profile of the business.

Never criticise:
Companies and key stake holders (your letter reader or interviewer) do not tolerate applicants being critics. Keep this for the right time and place - when you are in situ and then make sure you criticise from a point of authority!

Highlight parts of your CV:
This should reflect your suitability, experience and talent. Keep it constrained - this is just a teaser for the main information that is on your CV.

Thank the reader:
Finish with a line about looking forward to meeting the reader and thank them for taking the time to read your application. Good Luck!

If you require a professional cover letter please visit:
If you require a professional CV please visit: