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Cover Letter Advice

Creating a solid cover letter that stands out is half way to securing an interview. It's usually the first contact you have with an employer so don't waste the opportunity to make a great first impression. Employers spend approximately half a minute looking over each application so you have 30 seconds to impress. Your cover letter should state why this company should hire you and encourage them to give your CV the attention it deserves.

How to write the perfect cover letter to get you an interview

Content

  • First of all, research the company and the job. Find out what they do and who their competition is and tailor your letter accordingly.
  • The opening paragraph should state the position you are applying for and where you found out about the vacancy.
  • Explain why you are the best person for the job – show off your skills and experience and point out why they are relevant to the job.
  • Give examples of where you have been successful in similar situations.
  • End by reiterating your interest in the role and provide your availability for interview.
  • Make sure you spell check! Ask someone else to read over it to double check for any mistakes.
  • Last but not least, be original!

Layout

  • A cover letter is a formal letter.
  • Put your address in the top right-hand corner, the date underneath and the company address on the left.
  • Address the letter ‘Dear Mr Surname’ – if you don’t know the person’s name, ring the company and find out. This proves you are interested and shows initiative.
  • Sign off with 'Yours Sincerely'.
  • Stick to one side of A4.

After your interview

It’s a good idea to write to your potential employer after your interview to let them know you enjoyed it and you’re still keen on the job. Let the company know that you really want to work for them and tell them why (just don’t mention money!) It may be that you really enjoyed the interview and loved the atmosphere and the people you met. It may be that this job has been your dream for as long as you can remember. Whatever it is, tell them. But whatever you do, it is VITAL that you spell check and double check and triple check… The last thing you want to do is lose the job because of a silly mistake in your follow up letter.