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Crafting a Killer Cover Letter

 

The cover letter!

Maligned in some quarters, considered essential in others, but what’s the reality.

Like everything in life, its good to know the outcome you want before you start and the purpose of what you are doing.

Your cover letter is no different.

It’s an important part of the process of your ultimate goal of getting a job.

Its purpose in that process is to grab the reader’s attention and make it clear to them that reading your CV will be a good idea. It needs to briefly (that’s a key word here) demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the role.

Most of the time these days it will be an email and it will need these key elements:

Link / Introduction

  • A line or two saying why you are writing.
  • Include the job you are applying for
  • the reference number if there is one
  • and where you saw it advertised if you’re not applying directly on the website you saw the advert on. “I am writing to apply for the role of xxxxxxx which I say advertised on YYYYYYYY, reference number ZZZZZ.

 

Sell

  • Two or three short paragraphs that highlight how you match the key areas of the role and get across why you are interested in / excited about the role and (if you know it) the organisation.
  • You can also mention any specific things that will help you stand out from the crowd (maybe particular skills or qualifications).

Close

  • Make it positive and give the impression that you think you are worth interviewing.
  • Tell them you’ve attached your CV for further information.
  • Tell them you think you’re a good match for what they are looking for and finish by saying that you “look forward to discussing this role further” or “would welcome the opportunity to discuss this role further”.

Notes

  • This is a cover letter, introducing your CV so it doesn’t have to give chapter and verse, just enough to whet their appetite and want to learn more.
  • As a size guide, if you were to type it on an A4 document and it takes more than a page, it’s too long (unless they have specifically asked for a detailed document).
  • Make your cover letter the main body of your email, not an attachment. If you’re applying on a job board, you may not be able to include a cover note, but do if you can.

 

 

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