The Key to Cover Letter Writing

How Cover Letter Writing Comes in Handy

 

Cover letter writing is a detailed and involved process. The letter itself should not be very long but you have to think very hard about what to include and how you are going to present that information. Hiring managers go through tons of letters, resumes, and CVs every day. If you are applying to a job you really want, then you absolutely have to catch that manager’s eye as quickly as possible. You have to grab his or her attention and, most importantly, you have to keep it. In general, the job market these days is hugely competitive. Thus, it is extremely important to make sure you make a good impression as soon as possible.

Taking care with the cover letter writing process can help you do this. However, the process does not start with your cover letter. Before you even begin writing it, you need to update your resume. The experiences and skills you list there will be fundamental when it comes to writing your letter. You also need to research the company for which you want to work, and you especially need to research the position for which you are applying. This will help you write the best cover letter.

You need to know what your potential employer wants, what his or her main mission is. How does the company promote itself? How do they act in comparison to their competitors? What is the key customer base, the target market? What values does the company hold to, what is its philosophy, its history? Knowing these things can help you write the best cover letter possible. Better still, it will be relevant, which is what every potential employer wants to see.

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During the cover letter writing process, you need to make sure the format is correct. Of all the tips you will ever receive, this may be the most important. A sloppy cover letter could well be the death of you, at least occupationally speaking. For the purposes of this article, we are going to deal with a hard copy – a cover letter which will actually be printed out and read. In that case, the rules are a bit more stringent. For example, your address needs to go in the top right hand corner; four lines down, you need to insert the date; four lines down from that, you need to insert the contact information of the company and hiring manager. Greetings should be professional and specific: you are addressing a specific individual.

As mentioned, the cover letter writing process is a relatively short one. The document only needs to have about three or four paragraphs. You begin by telling your potential employer why you are writing to them and what position you are interested in, specifically. A key piece of cover letter advice is to make a catchy opener: grab the hiring manager’s attention right from the start. Your qualifications can be included in the middle paragraphs, while the conclusion needs to have a positive statement designed to make the employer want to hire you. Keep in mind, however, that there are many different types of letters. The format for an academic cover letter is understandably going to be different from one designed to get you an actual job position.

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