Home » Business » Careers and Jobs

Tips for Writing a Good Cover Letter

Aug 7, 2008
A cover letter is an important accompaniment to any CV, telling an employer what is being applied for and matching the applicant's skills with the job description. Here are some tips for how to write a great cover letter for any job.

Cover letters should be typed or word processed, unless otherwise stated by the employer in the job description. Use a proper letter format with the date and addresses at the top, and try to print it on a paper of reasonably high quality. Some employers ask cover letters to be handwritten; in which case you should comply and make sure your handwriting is exceptional.

A cover letter should be roughly two to three paragraphs long and include all of the applicant's relevant contact details, as well as a job advert reference number (if applicable), and the name and position of the person dealing with the applications. Always get this person's name right. Never shorten first names, leave any mistakes in their name or use incorrect or ambiguous titles for women based on their marital status. If you are unsure of anything, contact the employer by telephone and obtain the correct information.

If you don't have a name for the employer to contact with your application, conclude the letter with 'Yours faithfully'. If you do use the name of the person, conclude with 'Yours sincerely'.

Begin by explaining your main 'selling points' early on, whether that be your education or recent experience. Explain your experience and demonstrate why it will be relevant to the post you are applying for.Other useful things to include in your cover letter are; where you saw the job advertised, how your skills match the job specification and anything to do with your interest or enthusiasm for the job, company or industry. The more you can display knowledge of the company or industry the better, and linking your interests, experience or education to the job. However, you should not simply reiterate information from your CV. Relate the information on your CV to the job in question, look at the cover letter as expanding on your CV and relating it to the specific post. It is a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the job or industry.

Unlike a CV, cover letters should be written in the first person ("I am currently'...I am seeking/interested in") but should be as concise and accurate as possible. Long, gushing cover letters will be binned along with your CV, so keep it short, to-the-point and well written. This is particularly important if the post you are applying for requires communication skills. Imagine it is the first document you are compiling for your employer. Formatting, spelling, punctuation and grammar should be immaculate if you want to impress.
About the Author
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 152
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories