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Is your cover letter like a bad handshake?
Cover letters2 min read

Is your cover letter like a bad handshake?

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Is your cover letter like a bad handshake? A bone crusher, limp fish, or just plain cold, clammy and sweaty?

If you want that job badly, then read on for some top tips on writing a cover letter.

Just like a good handshake, getting the cover letter right could be the thing that makes you stand out from the competition.

Your cover letter needs to be spot on to make sure it and your CV avoid the shredder treatment.  

Writing a cover letter isn’t difficult. You need to start with a great template. Good design is really important. You don’t want your interviewer to be put off by an amateur looking letter. Catching their eye could be the one thing that makes the difference.

We have also put together a comparison of a good and bad cover letter but whatever template you choose make sure it is easy to read with sufficient white space.

Once you’ve got the template then it’s all about content. The best cover letters have information that is not in your CV to give the reader a bit more insight into you as an individual in a professional capacity. You can also include why you feel you would be suitable to the role and what skills and or experience you bring to this particular role.

The best cover letters have information that is not in your CV to give the reader a bit more insight into you as an individual in a professional capacity.

When writing a cover letter be careful to: 

  • Use clear direct language. Don’t confuse the reader with overly long sentences or fancy words. Sometimes simple sentences are more effective than flowery ones full of adjectives.
     
  • Inject personality. You want to stand out from the crowd. Put a little of your personality into your letter. Employers hate form letters that tell them nothing about you. 
     
  • Tailor the letter to the job and company. Show your interest in that company and make it clear that your letter isn’t just a photocopied standard one.  
     
  • Address it to the correct person. Don’t write: “Dear Sir/Madam”. Phone the company and find out who you should address it to.
     
  • Use good spelling and grammar. Nothing puts a person off a cover letter quicker than poor spelling or use of English. 
     
  • Keep it to one page. Write 200 to 250 words only and make sure it is all on one page.

Finally, take your cover letter to your mentor if you have one or a friend or member of the family for a second opinion. Two brains are always better than one. 

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