Keep it short, even though it may seem difficult with so much information to include, but you need to keep your cover letter short and sweet. Recruiters will give each letter about 20 to 30 seconds of their time, so it should be no more than a page.
Don’t just re-write your resume. The point of a cover letter is to expand upon your resume, which should be attached to accompany your letter. Make sure you pick the most relevant examples and give details of your achievements.
Be sure to proofread. Once you’ve written your letter, check it over for mistakes even if you have Spell Checked, have someone else read it over, too. Recruiters aren’t going to take you seriously if you’ve made spelling or grammar mistakes. Each letter should be personal, so avoid cliché phrases that recruiters have read a thousand times! Don’t just say “I’m a team player”, as these buzzwords won’t make you stand out. Instead, choose an example of when you worked well in a team and explain what happened and what you achieved. If you can, use numbers or stats to illustrate your points.
Use bullet points; this is not always necessary, but depending on the format you’ve chosen or the job role you’re applying for, bullet points could be an effective way of demonstrating your points and adding to the layout.
If you’re sending the letter in the post (old school, we know) then you should sign the letter by hand before you send it off—it adds a personal and more professional touch. If you are sending it online, Macs and PCs haven’t quite learned to work in total harmony yet, and the last thing you want is the recruiter being unable to open your document. Instead, save your final resume as a pdf file; that way you know they’ll be able to open it on any device.
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