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Cover letter writing tips
Career center
Cover letter writing tips Email this to a friend
A cover letter is a letter of introduction sent with a proposal (your resume) in which you communicate your capability as a strong candidate as well your ability to communicate in a elegant, professional manner to reflect your personality, your attention to detail, your communication skills, your zeal, your intellect and should demonstrate that you are interested in the position, and that you are available to accept the position if offered. 

You can attract and grab the attention of the employer towards your resume by following this outline.
When is a cover letter needed?

If you are not introducing yourself by meeting the hiring decision maker in person, then you need a cover letter to introduce yourself. Such instances could be when you are sending the resume by mail, or if someone else is giving the resume on your behalf or if you leave the resume with the hiring manager’s secretary or at the company reception.

If you are carrying your resume to a prearranged interview, a cover letter would not be needed since you would be there to introduce yourself.

Cover letter content

Beginning and Ending
Include your name, postal address, phone number and email address at the top left hand corner.
Leave a line and put the date. 
Leave another line and Include the name and job title of the recipient, company name and address
Leave another line and address by name if you can, such as: “Dear Ms. XYZ” or if you do not know the name of the person, address as “Dear Sir/Madam”
After you have written the content, conclude with “Yours sincerely if you know the name of the person, else conclude with “Yours faithfully”.
Sign the letter and type your name underneath.
List down at the end under the “Enclosures” section “1. Resume”

The Introduction
The first paragraph should be brief, perhaps two or three sentences, stating
  • For which position you are applying.
  • How you learned about this position.
  • Why you are interested in the position or organization
Sample opening lines:
  • I am writing to enquire about
  • After having seen your advertisement in , I would like
  • Please consider my application for
  • I am interested in(position)
The body
Indicate why you are perfect for the position that you are applying for.
  • Indicate your knowledge of and interest to join the organization and do that particular job.
  • Amplify or augment information contained in your resume (rather than merely repeating it)
  • Target the job description and specifically discuss how your skills relate to the job description.
  • Highlight one or two of your accomplishments or skills that make you come across as a perfect candidate for the job.
  • Detail personal qualities, past experiences and/or qualifications that illustrate how these would benefit the organization.Sample Opening lines of "The Body"
  • As you can see from my Resume
  • I have 10 years experience in
  • I am excited to work for you because
  • I meet every one of your requirements in your job positing.
  • I would be an asset to your company because.
The close
The concluding paragraph of your letter should request specific follow-up, such as an interview or some response.
  • If the position was not advertised and the resume uncalled-for, indicate that you will follow up in a few days.
  • If the position was advertised, indicate you are looking forward to the opportunity to discuss how you can contribute to the success of the organization.
  • You could ask for an interview, mentioning dates when you are available.
  • Close by thanking the reader for their attention and time.
Closing lines
  • Available to supply any further information.
  • Available for an interview at any time
  • I look forward to seeing you.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
Personalize the cover letter
A cover letter should be addressed to a specific person avoid using “Dear Sir/Madam” as it indicates that you have not made an effort to learn more about the company. You can usually find who to address the cover letter to by going to the company website and searching the “about us” pages for names of individuals or simply by calling the company to find out who you should address the letter to.
Avoid negatives
A cover letter is not a place to explain why you left or are leaving an employer, why there are gaps in your employment dates, etc. These negatives are best delivered in person during the interview so that your personally counter them.
Follow up
Always follow-up. This is where a little persistence can get you through. Just make a phone call or drop in an email to confirm that your resume was received and try to get a timeline for filling the position. It’s a polite, professional reminder that you exist and you are earnestly interested in the position.
Some more suggestions about cover letter writing
  • You should conduct enough research to know the interests, needs, values, and goals of each company, and your letter should reflect that knowledge
  • Make sure there aren’t any grammatical and spelling mistakes.
  • Keep it brief, simple and to the point
  • It should be in paragraph form (save bullet points for your resume) with a conversational, though formal tone.
  • It should be of one page in length.
  • Focus should be on employers needs, not yours.
  • It should be in traditional business letter format.
  • Use professional, meaningful and familiar words
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