Your cover letter may make the difference between securing a job interview and having your CV ignored. A well-written cover letter is the key to making a great first impression.
Each job application you submit should be accompanied by a cover letter created specifically for that position, but in all cases the layout should resemble that of a formal business letter. Use a professional tone, but don’t be too stiff and formal – just be yourself!
Your cover letter should consist of three paragraphs. The first paragraph specifies the position for which you are applying and the means by which you came to know about the job opportunity. The second paragraph identifies the job requirements and lists your skills and qualifications as evidence of how you would be the ideal person for the position. The third paragraph outlines your availability for an interview, thus suggesting a concrete follow-up to your application.
The strength of a cover letter lies in the language and the detail, so it makes good sense to devote the necessary time and effort to writing an effective cover letter. Use words and phrases you would use when speaking to the employer. Remember – it is important not to start every sentence with “I”.
An effective cover letter would include phrases similar to the following:
I am writing in response to your advertisement in the Sunday Times, dated 28 April 2012.
Please accept this letter as an expression of my interest in the position of…
A copy of my résumé has been enclosed for your review.
I would like to express my interest in the position of….
I am writing to express my interest in the …. position at … (company name).
As a recent graduate with …. experience, I believe I am a strong candidate for a position at … (company name).
Although I am a recent university graduate, my .… (skill) and …. (skill) will make me an excellent ….
As seen from my enclosed résumé, my experience and accomplishments match the requirements of this position.
I would like to point out …. (information relevant to the position).
During my two years with … (company name), I initiated extensive improvements that resulted in garnering 30 more clients for the period ending ….
I possess the right combination of …. skills to be an asset to your organisation.
I understand the value of ….
I have a very strong interest in .…
Experience has taught me how to .…
For the past two years I have been working as …. at …. (company name).
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications make me ideally suited to the position.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet and speak with you in person.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my potential contributions to your company.
I believe that my skill-set perfectly matches your requirements.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I look forward to your response.
If I may, I will contact you next week to discuss ….
I would be interested in learning more about ….
I look forward to speaking with you about….
Thank you for your time and consideration.
My CV contains additional information on ….
It would be an honour to start my career with your company, and I am confident that I will be an asset to the business.
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