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6 Essentials of Great Cover Letter Writing

Peter Fisher

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Writing a great cover letter is not beyond anyone's ability if they master the 6 essentials. But most people leave it to the last minute when they desperately need to send a cover letter and so spoil the job by rushing it. To help more people get it right these are the 6 essentials you need to know about:

1. Every cover letter must have a beginning, a middle and an end. This creates a natural flow that the reader will find easy to follow.

2. Cover Letters are all about communication so the language you choose must be appropriate to the reader - using some of their words, from an advert say, ensures they understand.

3. You want your cover letter to stand out from the others so you need to avoid following the same pattern and choice of words that others use.

4. Use positive phrases like " I am confident that I have the skills you require. . . " rather than hesitant language such as " I believe that I may have something to offer. . . "

5. The cover letter should complement and highlight points from your Resume and never be more than 1 page.

6. Every cover letter must be uniquely tailored to the individual job application with no typing or spelling mistakes.

These 6 essentials of great cover letter writing are the starting point and the framework. Working around that cover letter format you are aiming to be invited to an interview so you must ensure that you:

  • fully understand their needs;

  • can communicate the information they expect;

  • use colorful phrases to add spice and interest;

  • avoid the use of jargon, woolly phrases and intensifiers.

And of course preparation is everything.

This brief outline should demonstrate that writing a great cover letter is not beyond most people's ability if they master these 6 essentials of great cover letter writing. Most of all it should not be left to the last minute when the cover letter is desperately needed as you run the risk of spoiling this important job by rushing it.

Peter Fisher is webmaster for where you will find lots more help with writing cover letters


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