Writing your covering letter

Writing your covering letter

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Once you are confident that your CV hits the mark, you need to turn your attention to the covering letter that will go out with your CV.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing this, because it’s just as important as your CV when it comes to making an early impression on a potential employer. A covering letter gives the potential employer an idea of who you are.

Consider it a type of introduction or sales pitch that will persuade the interviewer that he or she really needs to find out more about you. A good covering letter should be professional in tone, while also bringing you to life and explaining why you are interested in this particular job and company.

However, it’s not about presenting your CV in a different format or rehashing information already included on your CV. Instead, think of it as a creative way of capturing the interviewer’s attention and illustrating your written communication skills.

Like a CV, a covering letter needs to be concise and to the point. Structure your letter in a formal business style and proof read your draft to be sure you’ve captured the right tone and stayed on point.

Check carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes and, if possible, ask somebody else to check it again once you’ve been through it.

Standing out While your letter needs to be formal in tone and adhere to a conventional business format, you need to put some thought into how it is crafted to ensure you stand out. Here are some ideas:

  • Allow your personality to stand out by explaining why you’re passionate about this particular industry and why you believe you’re the right candidate for the job. This is the time to talk about why you think you are the person the company is looking for and why your skills, education and experience are right for this particular position.
  • Make sure you’ve done some homework about the company and, if possible, bring in something you’ve found out about it. This shows that you’re willing to put in some extra effort.
  • As with your CV, your covering letter should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. U Your final paragraph should include a brief summary of your skills, a request for an interview and an offer to supply any additional information that may be required.
  • Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for the time he or she has taken to read your letter and CV.

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