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Why Everyone Needs A Good Cover Letter

By Expert Author: Billy Alexander

One may say a covering letter is boring to write, difficult to get right and there are thousands of more important things to do, such as CV and portfolio. Well, you might be right here, however at the same time it may play a crucial role in the job application process by highlighting your unique selling points and helping you stand head and shoulders above the rest. No doubt a good covering letter can be a great support to your application. Unfortunately, the majority of covering letters look and read exactly the same with many using standard templates making some of the best candidates fall amongst the crowd, which hiring managers would not want to read. Therefore, even if you are using templates, please make sure you follow the main rules listed below:
1. Use good grammar
Poor language and grammatical mistakes never look good. Simple mistakes are easy to notice and can often distract employers from an otherwise great CV/Covering Letter, no matter how good you are.
2. Don't repeat your resume
We often forget that your covering letter is actually attached to a CV. Therefore, there is no need to duplicate your CV in a covering letter. It can rather be used to demonstrate your personality, curiosity and interest in the field you are applying to work in. Why not do some research (use your internet browsing skills, read a few trade magazines together with your own expertise) and demonstrate some facts and your understanding on the topic. Show how keen and diverse you are. This is your opportunity to convince the employer that you are the perfect candidate for the role and will be an asset to the business!
3. Keep it short and straight to the point
Sometimes less is more and a covering letter is one of the best examples. Try to stick to no more than three paragraphs and avoid lengthy discussions, but skip right into something "juicy".
4. Do not address to anybody
Sometimes; there is no information as to who we should address our covering letter to. In that case, we would suggest addressing to anyone. Reason being is - a standard "Dear Sir/Madam" or "Dear Hiring manager" sound very impersonal. Instead just jump right into the body of your covering letter and work your magic!
5. Send it as a PDF or Doc
Word.doc and PDF are probably the most commonly used file formats that are supported by vast majority of devices (.docx files on the other hand sometimes can be very tricky). As we know file conversion can be quite time consuming. This is one of the reasons why employers are very likely not to bother and move on to the next candidate. And even if they manage to go through this process, the resulting file can often have some formatting errors.
6. Do not state the obvious
There is no need to write something like this "My name is... and I am applying for the above position as... " This is already clear from your application form and CV which will be attached to your covering letter.
7. Short and strong closing
Do not start a whole new story in your conclusion explaining the same thing over and over again. Remember to thank the employer for their time in reading your application and say that you look forward to receiving feedback with a view to pursue with the application further.
Here you bring to life the specifics presented in your CV. Here you can show some personality (don't overdo it). The cover letter is your opportunity to "sell" yourself into an interview.
In your letter, focus on
Your qualifications to meet key requirements of the job
Points that separate you from other applicants.
Points that show your knowledge, understanding and awareness of the organization.

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