Tips to Write an Effective Covering Letter

There are thousands of job vacancies on many job boards and with recruitment agencies, these days and many companies have lots of job openings every day. Some figures suggest an average of 250 applications for every position and each application has letters and CVs for employers to take a look at and make a decision on.

If you think that they are spending minutes for applicants letters then you are mistaken. You have only 20-30 seconds in a good scenario, and no more than 7 seconds in most cases.

You have to write a good covering letter.

Your letter has to shine in the crowd

Writing a cover letter that is noticeable may require expertise, however, you can create yours without help from the professionals. Check out the examples that are made by people who are called CV writing experts and read the tips etc. There are many sites online specializing in this subject, visit them and start using their templates.

Uniqueness can be a key

Don’t just copy and paste the templates that you find. Certainly, check out the example letters written by other people, but yours has to be unique to yourself, and to every job that you apply for.
Be creative and unique then you will be noticed.

Your letter should match with the job description

In other words, you need proof that you will be useful for the employer. You need to show as quickly and concisely as possible that you will fit into the ethos of the business, be reliable and work hard – you won’t be just another employee, you will be different and able to solve problems not create new ones.
Highlight your problem solving skills, your time management and your experience working in a similar role so the recruiter knows you can get on with the job quickly.

Using Testimonials can make you different than others

Testimonials are usually short, to the point, and ideally come from a number of different sources including client appreciation notes, performance evaluations or other positive comments from colleagues. Whereas recommendation letters often come from a single source and although are positive, are less likely to get as much credit as a page of 6 or 7 testimonials. Testimonials can make your application look better and unique from others in the pile.

If you don’t want to just write out a list of testimonials on a page and submit that, then use extracts of the testimonials within your covering letter or CV.

What about goals or objectives?

Goals or objectives can indicate that you are motivated and will work hard to get ahead, but they can also be viewed negatively by prospective employers. It is an expensive and time-consuming task to recruit and train new staff, and employers are usually looking for employees who will stay in the job for at least a couple of years. If your goal does not directly relate to staying in that vocation and therefore showing your commitment to the job then you are likely to be set aside for another candidate who suggests they want to stay in the job for a long time.

So only mention your goals or objectives if they directly relate to the skills required for that job.

In summary

Your cover letter and CV are the only information that the recruiter has about you, so it is very important to get it right so that your application is picked up and not just binned straight away. Make sure that it is well written throughout with no spelling or grammatical errors. Incorporate testimonials effectively and ensure that every part of your application relates directly to the job at hand. If it’s an irrelevant experience, then delete it as you don’t want the employer reading that instead of the important parts three lines later! Learn more about how to write a cover letter.

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Taylor Connor
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