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The Cover Letter Formula

SUGGESTED LENGTH

Less than one side of a page. Exceptions to this suggestion arise if you are responding to several selection criteria.

TO BEGIN...

Your address (& phone number?)

The date line.

Inside Address - Employers name, job title, organisation and address.

THE SALUTATION

Find out the name of the appropriate person.

Or

Use the poor alternative - Dear Sir/Madam.

THE OPENING

Mention the position being sought. Don’t keep them guessing as to why you are writing. In your opening paragraph:-

  • Include a reference to the job title &/or reference number.
  • Sound positive and enthusiastic from the outset.
  • Make the most of the opportunity to make a first impression.
  • Perhaps state how you found out about the position.

 BODY OF LETTER

The body of your letter must answer the question-

Why should an employer select you?

Your answer should include

  • What contributions you can make to the organisation/job?
  • How will you add to their success?
  • What is your unique selling position?

You need to match yourself to the company &/or job

...so

1. Analyse the job requirements.

2. Include at least one of the following that is relevant to the jobs selection requirements:-

  • State your education levels and qualifications
  • Illustrate an example of your transferable skills and competencies
  • Explain your relevant technical knowledge of the jobs duties
  • Describe personal traits e.g. communication skills, leadership skills
  • Elaborate on a relevant point from your resume e.g. work experience
  • State your reason for applying/interest in the position/job
  • Display your specific knowledge of the company
  • State your career objective/s

THE CLOSE

  • Explain the action you require - that is, an opportunity to discuss your application in more detail (don't be wishy-washy).
  • State when you are available for an interview and the best way to contact you.
  • Refer to your resume and any other attachments you are including.
  • If a cold contact letter - tell the employer when you will phone to follow up the letter.
  • Thank the employer for their time and consideration.

THE END

  • Write;
  • Yours faithfully - if you don't know the name (Dear Sir/Madam)

    Yours sincerely - if you use a title and surname (Dear Ms Green)

    Regards - if you use a first name (Dear Judi)

    • Sign the letter.
    • Type your name.

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