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eng >> Career Centre >> Effective Cover Letters
Writing Effective Cover Letters
Your cover letter is the means of self introduction. It is the perfect way to provide employers with an insight into you as a potential employee and for you to demonstrate the qualities that set you apart from other applicants.
- Should be no more than 1 page in length. Make your letter concise and clearly state how you fit the job.
- Address it to the appropriate person or position, eg. The Director of Human Resources.
- Your cover letter should have roughly three main sections. In the first section, introduce yourself and indicate the position that you're applying for. If relevant, state where you saw the job advertisement (print or website), use the exact job title as stated in the advertisement and include any reference numbers.
- In the middle section, highlight your skills and experience that match the key job specifications. These are often included in the job advertisement. Always try to make specific reference to the requirements outlined in the job advertisement. Do not, howver, lift entire sentences from the job advertisement! For example, if the job description says "Independent, enthusiastic and motivated multi-tasker required", do not say in your cover letter, "I am an independent, enthusiastic and motivated multi-tasker"! This only betrays your lack of effort and imagination to the hiring manager. Stress to the hiring manager what you can bring to the company and how they will benefit from hiring you.
- Lastly, end off your cover letter by expressing your desire for an interview. Tell the reader how they may contact you, via e-mail or mobile number. If you are currently employed, do not ever give your office telephone as a contact number! You may want to indicate that it would not be convenient for you to speak on the phone during working hours, eg. "I am currently employed and may not be able to speak freely on my mobile at all times". Most professional recruiters are highly discreet and would be willing to have you call them back at a time that is convenient to you.
- Use a plain, simple font such as Arial or Times Roman. Refrain from using fancy or cursive fonts. For a polished look, use the same font, font size and paper as your resume.
- Keep your tone friendly but professional. Do not use slang, short forms or abbreviations, even if you are submitting your cover letter via e-mail.
- Always proof read! You need to have perfect spelling and grammar.