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5 really simple tips to write a GREAT cover letter

Last updated on: May 3, 2012 11:20 IST

5 really simple tips to write a GREAT cover letter

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The cover letter could almost seal the fate of your career. So make sure you say the right things and put your best foot forward.

A cover letter is a letter of introduction that highlights key accomplishments in one's career.

It briefs the employer about the type of position that one is seeking and the reasons why they would be the right person for the job.

Most employers seriously consider only those resumes that are accompanied by a cover letter as this adds focus to the candidate's resume.

It is a vital part of the job application process since it initially unveils you as a serious candidate just by the way it has been written.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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Courtesy: YouthIncMag.com




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1. Focus on the crux of the letter

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In the competitive job market, the absence of a cover letter could land you in jobless hell.

Since there are multiple applicants for a single job opening, the candidate who submits his or her application with a well written cover letter will be the one to get noticed immediately and is most likely to be called in for an interview.

A good cover letter also explains the job candidates' organisation and communication skills, two qualitiesof paramount importance in any organisation.

Further, your cover letter can explain things that your resume can't.

For instance, if you have a gap in your employment history or if you happen to be changing your career focus, a cover letter can explain these things in the most positive way possible.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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2. Customise

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It is important that each cover letter must be tailored to suit different jobsand employers.

Avoid sending a generic cover letter to multiple companies since HR managers can instantly spot a massmail.

An attention-grabbing coverletter always addresses the organisationand its needs.

Research the company before writing the letter; scan through the company's recent news and then incorporate relevant points.

It's also important to personalise the letter as nobody likes to receive impersonal mail; some might even mark it as spam.

Take some time to find out the correct addressee.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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3. Keep it professional

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Write the cover letter with the employer's needs in mind; capitalise on your qualifications without sounding boastful.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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4. Get to the point

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Employers receive applications from dozens, if not hundreds of applicants,and thus, they don't really have the time to read lengthy letters.

Since the coverletter will be seen before the resume, it's a great way to make your mark.

Describe what you can do for the organisation in the clearest and most direct way possible.

An ambiguous cover letter will fail to attract the attention of your prospective employer.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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5. Edit with care

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Use a simple block format with left flush margins and ragged right margins.

Restrict your cover letter to a single page.

Lastly, go through the letter several times so as to avoid any kind of mistake,including typos, grammatical errors and wrong spellings.

Just like any professional letter, the body of the cover letter also comprises three parts -- the introduction,the main body and the closing.

Armed with a 'killer' cover letterand resume, you can be sure of entering the job market place and making your mark!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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