Cover Letter Rules

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If you haven't written a cover letter in 10 years and you don't know the radical changes it has undergone, you'd better use a stone tablet to write the next one. In the age of email applicants and job application tracking software, everything about effective cover letters has changed - from tone and content to purpose and importance.

Five rules for effective cover letter writing

Listed below 5 rules that help to write an out standing cover letter. Always remember these rules:

Rule #1) Forget about yourself, learn about them

The resume includes your experience, achievements and skills; the cover letter should show why they are relevant to a particular job and to the company's goals. Before you write the first word, read about the company and the industry so that you can make informed references in your cover letter. " Look at the company's website, what is it doing in the market, look at who its competition is, ".

Rule #2) Give priority to the needs of the company

Effective cover letters should be short (about three paragraphs), so show what you know about the company's business as soon as possible. "The first few lines should give the impression that you know the position you're applying for and why you're applying,". Do not start with " I'm interested in applying for the position of .." or " I'm looking for a position with great growth potential ". Don't focus on your interests. Instead, say something like, " Your need for a team leader who understands finance perfectly matches my decision to quit my current job, ".

Rule #3) Be careful with your words

Job applicant tracking software searches resumes and cover letters for keywords that literally match the job description posted by the employer. Therefore, the letter you upload to the internet should include as many of those words as possible. " Use exactly the words they use, ". The software identifies the exact and similar words, but the more matches the better.

Rule #4) Don't worry if you aren't Cervantes

Effective cover letters need to be clear, not creative. They aren't a test of your narrative skills; According to Lawson, you can even use bullets to make yourself understood. If you show that you did the homework, that you understand the position, and that you've the specific skills to meet the particular needs of the employer, you've written a good letter. It's okay to show your opinion and personality, as long as it doesn't interfere with what you're really trying to communicate: what you can do for the company.

Rule #5) Know the practicalities

Cover letters have become less formal and more personal, perhaps because they are sent through email or online.

Here's an example for what to say in a cover letter and how to format it:

Subject: position name.

Greeting: "Dear hiring manager", or if you've the exact name, "Dear sir (a) of such."

First paragraph: match what you know about the company's needs with your skills, strengths, and experience. Mention what you can do to help.

Middle Paragraph (s): Explain anything on your resume that might raise questions (such as why you quit your previous job in less than a year or why you're looking to change careers ). You can also offer more specific examples of how your experience perfectly matches their requirements.

Last paragraph: say how to contact you: email address, phone number and time to call you. If you think salary is a deciding factor, you can include your salary expectations to save everyone the time and hassle of finding out later.

Closing: "I hope to hear from you soon."

Follow these instructions to the letter for an effective cover letter. If the application instructions call for uploading a cover letter, do so (even if you're sending it in the body of the email as well). Ignoring cover letter rules is the fastest way to get your letter rejected and you too.

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