The Cover Letter

If you are going to write a cover letter then it needs to be done with thought and care as a cover letter can be all too easily be damaging to your chances.

The purpose of a cover letter is to secure an interview. I advise against a general cover letter, it should rather be written to a specific company / person for a specific job spec. A cover letter should capture the recruiters or employer’s attention and motivate an employer to interview you.

A cover letter can be used to:

  • Inform the potential employer of which position that you are applying for;

 

  • Highlight relevant experience, qualifications and attributes for the job for which you are applying and

 

  • Reflect your attitude.

Here are some quick tips for writing a good cover letter:

  • Should be addressed to the correct person;

 

  • Should have an introductory paragraph, body, and concluding paragraph;

 

  • The introductory paragraph should explain why you are writing i.e. saw your advertisement...;

 

  • Keep it short and sweet;

 

  • Include keywords: A recruitment agent will scan your cover letter for relevant keywords;

 

  • Keep it simple and professional, typed out without fancy fonts, borders or colours;

 

  • Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors;

 

  • At the end of the letter consider requesting an interview in closing;

 

  • Make sure your contact details are on the cover letter as well as on your CV.

A follow-up letter or telephone call after you have sent your CV will be more effective than a cover letter in securing you an interview.

 

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