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When it’s that job hunting time again, we can get so wrapped up in preparing the perfect CV that we forget to pay attention to the conversation that goes along with it.
These days, it’s all too easy, since we often send applications over email with the CV attached:
I am writing to apply for the position of [job offer] in your company.
You will find my CV attached to this email for details of my professional experience.
I hope to hear from you soon.
As it happens, this is not a bad way to begin. But would you want to call this candidate in for an interview? Unless this person has unmatchable experience on their CV, the recruiter will be looking for a few other things:
Of course, it is by no means impossible to find a job without a cover letter, but if you want to wow your potential employers, here are six tips on how to write a cover letter that achieves the 3 goals above:
As mentioned, the conversation that begins when you read a job offer needs to be addressed. Make sure you read the offer well and respond to the recruiter reflecting their tone and demonstrating that you have considered their needs so that you...
Don’t just reel off your strengths; show them how your strengths will benefit their company and the role specifically.
Though not too much. Your CV can sometimes be sent unchanged to every company, but in your cover letter it will stand out if you are not directing your letter to the company in question (see #1 and #2)
Make sure that you are not repeating the information that the recruiter can find on your CV. Give them new information; if you can, think of something that you are proud of that you were unable to fit on your CV.
Job hunting can be a chore, but try to write this letter in a sincere way, focusing the language so that it compliments your communication skills and shows where your passion lies.
p.s. This is a good reason to avoid clichés. Being a ‘team player’ will make you sound less passionate and more like a template.
Don’t hesitate. Don’t be unsure of whether this job is for you. Don’t apologise for anything you think you lack. Just go out there and smash it. If you believe you deserve the job, the recruiter will too.
It may take time to achieve the perfect cover letter, but the effort will not go to waste.
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