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How To Write A Covering Letter

By Expert Author: Eric Hughes

When applying for a job, you may think that your CV is the most important part of the application. After all, it is based on this list of your skills and experience that the employer will decide whether to bring you in for an interview, right?
Actually, while your CV is obviously very important, you should focus on the covering letter just as much. This will introduce you to the employer and shows how much you want the job and whether your style suits them.
So, crafting the right letter is crucial. And here's how:
Tailor it
It is important that you tweak your CV to suit the job you are applying for. It is even more important that you write a fresh covering letter for each application.
Of course, there may be certain phrases that you use again and again in various application letters, but you should avoid have a ready made letter.
Most employers will be able to tell if you send a 'stock' covering letter. And if you can't write a short, unique letter as part of the application, they will wonder how much you actually want the job.
Get it checked
Before sending a letter and CV, make sure you check it thoroughly. Any spelling or grammatical errors will count against you.
Also, confirm the details of the person you are sending it to. If your application arrives at the wrong person, it may be ignored.
Ideally, get someone else to check it for you, as they are more likely to spot any errors. If you are registered with an employment agency, they may check this for you.
What to cover
Your covering letter is an introduction, so you should use it to introduce yourself. Give a run down of your experience up to now, and what your goals are for the future.
Cover how you could achieve these goals at the business you are applying to, to show how you and the company would benefit by giving you a job.
End the letter with a short and formal salutation. Anything too long winded runs the risk of being ignored, and anything too informal may not sit right with employers.
While your letter should mention your skills and experience, your CV should go into more details about this. This will help you stick in the mind of a potential employer, when compared to the many other covering letters and CVs they will receive.

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