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Top tips for writing your next covering letter

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Top tips for writing your next covering letter

BY Skillset 27 Sep, 2021

Most job applications ask for a covering letter to accompany your CV or resume which introduces you and your experience, and explains why you want to win the job.

Writing a strong covering letter is important for making your application stand out – it essentially does the talking for you. The aim of the covering letter, coupled with the CV or resume, is to get an interview in the next stage of the recruitment process. Try the following tips to ensure your next covering letter really shines:

  • Tailor it

To make the most impact, a covering letter should be unique to the job you are applying for. Even though it may be tempting to roll out a standard cover letter or one that you have used previously, the cover letters that stand out are the ones that are customised to the requirements of the position. Employers and recruiters will notice this effort – a good covering letter will make the connection between the job on offer and your skills and experience.

  • Make your pitch

Your covering letter should detail why you want the job. As a result, make sure you explain in the opening paragraph what appeals to you about the current position and why you are the right person for the role. Don’t go overboard on this – pick the top 3 to 4 reasons why you are a strong candidate for the position referencing the requirements of the job.

  • Personalise it

If you can, find out who you should send your covering letter to and address your covering letter to this person. Is it the manager of the position they are recruiting for, or is it someone in the Human Resources division? Often the name of the hiring manager is included in the job advertisement, along with any contact details. Including the name of the hiring manager is another way of demonstrating that you are interested in winning the job.

  • Check for errors

Remember that little things count! Errors in your covering letter may dilute key points you are trying to make and take the emphasis off your skills and experience. Therefore, before you finalise your covering letter, make sure you run a spell check to ensure there are no spelling mistakes in your document. It is also a good idea to double check any terms or names you mention in your letter – including the position name and the name of the business or entity that you are sending your job application to. Unfortunately, getting these names incorrect will make your application look sloppy.

  • Sign off with some contact details

Make sure you provide some contact details at the end of your covering letter so the hiring manager can contact you for an interview. Make sure the contact details you provide are correct. If you provide an email address, make sure it is for an email account that you regularly check. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t provide current and up to date contact details.

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