A cover letter augments gives voice to your CV. It gives you a platform to sell yourself to the advertiser in a way your CV cannot. It tells the advertiser that you are the man for the job. The usefulness of Cover Letters has been argued by many, some argued for and others against. However, professional Human Resource persons have defended the Cover Letter and explained how to write it to get results.
We usually have a general format of Cover Letters stored in our system or sent item folder of our emails. Once there is an opening what we do is just to open the letter, edit and send it out. Now experts have said it is a wrong move to make. They suggested a custom made Cover Letter for every job we apply for instead of a general one.
Here are few pointers from them on how to put one together.
Since expects are in favour of a custom made Cover Letter for each job, then the first step to take to achieve this feat is to carry out a research on the company. What this implies is that before you put pen to paper you must find out all you need to know about the company you are applying to and the job in question. Your research will reveal a lot of information that will be beneficial when writing your letter. It will show the reader that you are interested in the job and the company.
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ADOPT THE RIGHT STRUCTURE
Remember that you are writing a letter and not a CV, so the address, date, salutation and so on are very vital. Here is a logical arrangement of a cover letter:
Your Address: your address goes at the top right hand corner with your name first. Write the address without comma or full stop – that is the new writing style (the old pattern carries commas and full stops). After the address leave a line before proceeding to the next item.
Date: Let the date also be void of full stop or comma. Adopt the style 30 November 2015 and not 30th November 2015.
Addressee’s address: The receiver’s address goes on the left hand side after the date. Write the name of the person, title and address. Remember there is no need to add commas or full stops after their titles, initials or addresses.
Salutation: Here adopt also the no comma or full stop style of writing. In addition, after the salutation do not add comma. Your relationship with the addressee determines your salutation type. Check this table out:
Subject: Subjects are useful to busy executives because most of them want to know what a letter is all about before reading it. However, if you feel it is not necessary you can leave it out. Your subject should be bold and in upper and lower case. Avoid the use of ‘Re:’. Your subject could be influenced by the instruction on the job advert.
Body: Recall in my post – A Guide On How to Write A Successful CV that I told you that one of the rules of writing a CV is brevity i.e. writing short and easy sentences. So be brief, also make your letter easy to read. Avoid using upper cases or italics to emphasize points rather use bold. The body of cover letters can be divided into four paragraphs as shown below:
Ending: If your are on first name basis, then use ‘Yours sincerely’. If you are on formal basis, then use ‘Yours faithfully’. Whichever you use, do not put a comma at the end.
Enclosures: If there is any material you have attached to your letter, then put ‘Enc’ (i.e. enclosure) or ‘Encs’ (i.e. enclosures) at the tail end of your letter.
Check the letter for errors, spelling mistakes, misused tenses and so on. It is better you spend time checking your letter than sending it out to beat the time and realizing afterwards that there are errors in it. Some readers will rule you out once they notice any error in your Cover Letter. You can leave the letter for a while before returning to it so that you will be refreshed to do a good proof reading job.
If you enjoy this post and would like to have a sample a Cover Letter mailed to you, then leave your email in the comment box. It would be delivered right into your box. All the best!
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