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We’re often told how important it is to make sure our cv is up to scratch but it’s also incredibly important to make an effort to include a well-thought-out covering letter. Whether you’re experienced in your field or just starting out and applying for internships, this is your opportunity to sell yourself to recruiters or employers – so be sure to put sufficient time into your letter as well as your cv. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Write a letter without fail
Always write a
Avoid the temptation to try and make a lasting impression by writing a quirky or amusing covering letter. It’s impossible to know how receptive the person dealing with applications is to that kind of thing so it’s always best to play it safe. While it might work on rare occasions, for every
Cover all the bases
Be sure to cover each of the person specification points outlined in the job ad, explaining why you tick each of the relevant boxes. If you don’t have previous experience in some of the areas, be sure to give examples of experience you do have that you will be able to adapt and bring across to the new role. Also, be concise; while you want to get across just how perfect you are for the role, you also don’t want to bore potential employers. Keep it simple and save your best for the
Investigate the employer
Do your research – it always helps to demonstrate that you know about the company you’re applying for a job with, and while you’ll want to save most of that for the
Explore the final details
Always address your letter to the relevant person – many ads will tell you exactly who to address in your covering letter but if it isn’t clear be sure to call up and find out. Not only does this show initiative, but putting the right person’s name at the top of your letter also looks so much better than ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Also sign off in the correct fashion – if you have opened with the recipient’s name, finish with ‘Yours sincerely’. However, if you have begun with ‘Dear Sir’, then you’ll want to end the letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
Keep it fresh
Write a new covering letter for each job application. As tempting as it might be to re-use a standard template for each new application, you won’t be making the most of your chance to impress your prospective employer if you fail to tailor the letter to that specific position. And besides, if you send off a letter and forget to change the name/company from your last template then the place you’re applying to will be on to you straight away – and if they feel that you’re too lazy to write a unique covering letter, they’re unlikely to see you as a viable candidate.
Check it before sending
Double-check your letter for spelling and grammar mistakes. You want to give the best impression possible, so run a spell check and get somebody else to have a read-through to make sure your words scan properly.
Beat out the competition for the best jobs
Create an image of accomplishment, professionalism, and competence that today’s employers are begging for!