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Nov 012010
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What’s the most important part of a typical job application? Is it your CV / Resume? Is it the  years of experience you’ve built up? Is it your unique blend of skills and expertise? The correct answer is none of the above! While all of those things are crucial components of the perfect job application, a really successful application is about getting you invited for interview. The For that, the single most effective weapon in your job-seekers arsenal is your covering letter. Why you need a great cover letter for your job application The term “covering letter” implies that this is perhaps a less important document than the material it accompanies. Not so! You see, when you’re applying for a job, your covering letter is much more than just a note to accompany the enclosed documentation. It is what the recruiter is going to read FIRST. It’s not so much a covering letter, it’s more of a sales letter.

Sell yourself with your covering letter

Your cover letter is the first opportunity you have to really shine… and to impress upon your employer just how perfect you are for the job. It’s worth spending a bit of time getting this right:

  • Be professional, be personable, be you: don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your covering letter. Stay professional, focused and on-topic, but remember that your personal flair, affability and enthusiasm are just as important when it comes to hiring you.
  • Play to your Strengths: your CV contains a a record of your employment history and experience, but on it’s own it rarely provides sufficient context. Your covering letter gives you the chance to show how the qualities on show in your CV can benefit his or her business.
  • Be concise: use relatively short, carefully crafted sentences that are punchy and to the point. Unless you’re an expert wordsmith, keeping things short and sweet will give your letter more impact.
  • Do your homework: address the recipient by their correct name and title. If you don’t know it a simple phone call is often enough. Show that you’ll go the extra mile, even before they hire you.
  • Make a list: it pays to plan ahead… and your cover letter is no different. Make a short list of points you want to get across in the letter, and refer to the list as you are writing to make sure you leave nothing out.
  • Check, then double check!: once you’ve written your covering letter, proof read it yourself for any grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Then put it aside overnight and proof read it again! You’ll often find that coming back to it fresh after a break will reveal things you didn’t spot first time around. Now give the letter to someone else to read. Remember, first impressions count!

Happy job hunting!

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  One Response to “Effective cover letters make you stand out from the crowd”

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