Writing a cover letter is something that can be quite difficult without any professional help. With a few pieces of information, however, writing a cover letter can become a breeze as it’s just a matter of getting the style and the tone right. Get the right things in there and that specific format can work in any industry in the country.
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Spelling & Grammar
One of the most important things is to proofread your cover letter before sending or submitting it for a job. Too many people are applying for the same job that you would like to get however only one or a few of them will get it. Employers or recruiters won’t take more than a few seconds on your application and they will fail you as soon as they have a reason for it. Spelling and grammatical mistakes are one of the biggest reasons for job application failure. It’s not too difficult to avoid those mistakes. get your family or friends to check out your writing before doing anything else.
Not too long, not too short either
Writing a very long covering letter will only risk your letter not being read. Keep it short but not too short. Include your relevant work history and skills and most importantly what you can bring to the company!
Address it to the right person!
We cannot stress this enough. Write it to the right person. Getting it wrong will mean you haven’t done your homework. You are not that much interested in getting the job. It can’t be too difficult to do a little research and find the person who is dealing with your application.
A Few Tips for Letter Writing
Never write down that a CV or a resume is enclosed. In fact, avoid the common “I’m writing…” sentence as it’s superfluous and serves no purpose. Moreover, it’s an insult to the employer’s intelligence as they can obviously see what’s included and that the person is writing a cover letter.
Make it just as much about the company as it is about the candidate. Settling on just one can miss out on those vital pieces of information that’s going to separate one candidate from another.
Take into account any specific formats or templates that the company wants applicants to use. Failure to follow these guidelines could lead to a binned application, no matter how good it happens to be.
The Winning Cover Letter
This cover letter sample is for an applicant who is applying to work in a standard office environment where they may be selling insurance, handling a loan company’s clients, or acting as a secretary for a company executive. Take note that the letter is going to be quite general and thus won’t suit companies who demand specific formats, but it’s a good starting point in terms of style, tone, and what should be being written.
How to Write a Cover Letter
The opening paragraph is supposed to be a brief introduction that formally introduces the applicant to the reader. Important things that should be mentioned are the job that’s been applied for, a little comment about where the advertisement was found, and when the applicant can start.
The most important thing about the opening paragraph is that it’s short. All of those things that were just mentioned could be included within two sentences. If it goes over three sentences then it’s probably too long. Writing a great letter is about keeping it short and sweet. Employers don’t have time to waste on lengthy applications.
Now it’s time to start explaining the reasoning for applying in the first place. Second paragraphs are all about getting the right balance between impressing the employer and explaining the reasoning of the applicant. Get this right and it will impress any potential employer as it will communicate professionalism and be able to think about other people.
Start with a sentence on why that specific type of work is of interest. Try to make it professional and keep any shallow reasons out of it. For example, informing them that working outside is enjoyable because it’s not a hot and sweaty office is not a good idea. Try something such as: “I enjoy working outside as it gives me the freedom to tune my innovation and creativity to the job at hand in a more optimal manner than an office environment would.”
The second paragraph should end with why that specific company is an attraction. Take note that this will only work for larger companies. Smaller companies should have a sentence on why working for a small organisation is a particular desire.
Advance on why certain skills would be an advantage for the organisation. Beware of just listing the same skills that were on the CV, though. Try to use the best and most unique skills in this paragraph as the third paragraph is where that unique selling point should be coming into play.
Sum everything up by listing any dates that won’t work for an interview, if any. Be careful with this, however, because unless the candidate is exceptional then an employer may just dismiss them out of hand and choose somebody else instead. Finish the letter by thanking the employer and telling them that they look forward to being in contact soon.
Example of general covering letter
Dear Mr. Brown,
I’m particularly interested in the position of executive secretary that was being offered by Browns Ltd. in the Daily Scoop job section. I believe that the position relates strongly to my 20 years experience of being a secretary and I’m pleased to inform you that I’m free to start at any time.
My desire to work with Browns Ltd. comes with the company’s commitment to maintaining high employee standards, which was reinforced to me through the organisation’s award last year. It’s also an industry that particularly interests me as I believe that providing affordable insurance is something that can really help enhance people’s lives.
I fully understand the needs and requirements of the position, and that’s another reason why I have applied for this job as my experience has enabled me to fulfil them all. In my previous roles I’ve been known as somebody who is proficient in multitasking, is able to take and understand orders the first time they are given, as well as having a friendly and approachable manner. Those, I believe, are the qualities that are needed to be a professional and diligent secretary.
Thank you for reading and considering my application for my role as executive secretary. I look forward to speaking to you further about this job opportunity.