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Cover letter writing and editing

Now you have seen a job that piques your interest, and you want to apply. You get your CV ready, and you want to send it, but does the application stop at that? Not exactly. If you want that job, you will do anything possible to ensure you are one of the shortlisted candidates for the interview. Note that not every job posting requires writing a cover letter, but if this is a requirement, you have to take advantage of it. It helps in distinguishing you from the rest of the applicants because it shows your interest in the role that the company is offering. It gives you an opportunity to address some of the issues in your resumes such as gaps in employment or unusual circumstances.

If you want to embark on writing a good cover letter, you must take your time because it requires you to think critically about the job you are applying for. If you do not write a cover letter, you might not be interested in the job, or you are lazy. As such, that is not the best way to start your search for the job that you want.

To put it in an employer’s perspective, the prospective employee must write a good cover letter that takes some effort and saves tie on the part of the employer. If your application is electronic, do not be in haste when you are writing your cover letter. This persona introduction has immense power.

When writing a cover letter, you must write what you want to say and work omit before you proceed to apply online. Many times an excellent CV is accompanied by a cover letter that is laden with too many mistakes. 

This also applies to hard copy cover letters. Write it and edit it first. This important step of cover letter writing ensures you are aware of the job you are applying for and you place significance in making yourself unique and known through your documents. With a good cover letter, your CV will be able to perform its duty.

There are two types of cover letters that one can use to apply for a job

You can write a cover letter following an advertisement of a job opening. The other cover letter is based on a ‘spec’. You apply for a job that you would like, but it has not been advertised.  Irrespective of when you are applying, your cover letter must get to the point immediately. Do not sound clever or litter it with long words. You have to make it effective enough to win you an interview and who knows, the job might be yours. It is imperative that you when writing a good cover letter, do it in good formal language. Ensure that it is free from any spelling mistakes, punctuation, and grammatical errors 

It should be no more than five paragraphs on the higher end. You have to say what you want to say within that space and if you cannot, then you have not prepared well for the task.

In the first paragraph of writing a cover letter, you have to show your prospective employer why you are the best candidate. Tell them what you have to offer that is directly relevant to the position you are seeking. If you are not able to do that, then your application is not effective enough.

The next paragraph in cover letter writing talks about your skills, experiences, and achievements that relate to the essential requirements of the job. You can refer to certain points on your CV to enable the person reading it get a better understanding of whom you are.

When you are applying for a job on ‘spec’, you will have to conduct some research o the company so that you can write two good concise paragraphs on why you would like to work there and the role you are looking for.  Include a paragraph that shows why you are interested in working in that organisation and providing supporting details if possible. Anything that shows you have done your research on the company while writing a cover letter is a big plus for you.

When you are closing your letter, thank them for their time, consideration, and show boldness. This implies that you would be glad to get a chance for an interview.

Tips for writing and editing your cover letter

There is a vast debate in the recruitment industry on the importance of writing a cover letter and if it is still necessary. Most of the companies still require cover letters from prospective employees. With that in mind, it is imperative that you make your cover letter more effective through perfection.  You can utilise these tips to ensure that the letter will secure an important interview.

  • Do not copy your resume
    When writing a good cover letter, you do not have to repeat what is on your resume when you are writing your cover letter. The reason why you write a cover letter is to highlight the skills and talents that fit the role you are applying for. It also includes information that would not fit on your resume. When writing your cover letter and resume, they should never be the same. Instead, they should complement each other.
  • Highlight your future
    Your resume will provide details about your past education and experience history. As such, take the opportunity when writing a cover letter to talk about how you are going to be in the future. You can highlight some of the roles and tasks that have been mentioned in the job positing. Make it clear that these are the roles you would be able to fulfill. Prove to the prospective employer that you are up to the task.
  • Emphasize on your skills over education
    This is significant if you are new to the career ladder and the interview is the first one of many to come in the future. Many companies will need to ascertain your education to ensure that you are capable of fulfilling the role. However, education is important here, but it is not as crucial as the skills you possess. Your employer is more interested in your experience, whether you have worked in a company or projects during your time as a student. Ensure that is well highlighted.
  • Let your letter tell a story
    To make your cover letter writing stand out from the rest, you can tell a story. Talk about your attraction to the company and the reasons for the application. The story should be short and precise, but you can express your thoughts on why the company is the best place for you. Your story will make your letter unique because it will break away from the generic cover letter contents sent by every other applicant.
  • Play around with figures
    Using numbers and statistics can make writing a cover letter much more effective.
    If you have figures that you can include in your cover letter, like sales figures, positive feedback numbers or any other statistical information that your previous employer used to monitor your performance, throw them in there. When you do this, you will be speaking in your prospective employer’s language. It depicts you as a person who is results-oriented.
  • Be authentic and genuine
    Show your enthusiasm and passion for joining that company for the role in your cover letter. You should not have a standard cover letter that you use in all your application. Every position should have its cover letter, just the way you structure a resume for a new position.
  • Avoid writing in a monotone
    Job applications are tedious, but they do not have to be that way. Have fun with your writing a cover letter and induce life to your content. Use creativity to write and format your cover letter. Depending on the company you are addressing, you can include images or visuals in your cover letter if you deem it necessary. That does not mean you include too many images. Only one would suffice.

Just like any other form of writing, you need to practice writing your cover letter and get your prospective employer ready to make that call for a sit down with you. Your letter must be effective enough to do this.

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