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The Perfect Cover Letter

Do you want to convince your future employers of your talent? then you need a strong cover letter in addition to a well-arranged cv. we help you on your way with concrete tips and do's & don'ts that you can apply immediately.
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What is a cover letter?

The cover letter is the most personal part of your entire application. You write it as a supplement and to accompany your CV. There used to be a difference between a traditional cover letter (formal) and a letter of cover (informal). In practice, however, cover letter and cover letter are used as synonyms and have the same purpose. You really distinguish yourself from the competition on the basis of a carefully considered letter. In this letter you state why you think you're suitable for the job and what your motivation is to apply for exactly this job.

The added value of the covering letter

Did you know that your resume is read first? Employers base their first selection on your CV. That's why it is important that your CV meets all requirements and leaves a crushing first impression. With your letter of application you can confirm that good first impression.

Recruiters receive a lot of cover letters and have to make a selection from them. However, many notice that candidates for technical and / or IT jobs are paying less and less attention to it. However, most recruiters will state that a cover letter is still the means to put your creative 'in the picture' and make your application stand out.

When the recruiter reads your cover letter, he looks for answers to the following questions: "What do you have to offer our company?" and "Why should we invite you for an interview?" So make sure you provide answers to the most important W questions in your cover letter:

- Who are you?
- What type of colleague are you?
- Which characteristics and skills make you the best candidate?
- What experience do you have?
- What do you want to achieve and what opportunities do you want to get from the company?
- Why do you just want that position / work for this company?

The general cover letter structure

A cover letter with a good structure and clear structure immediately attracts attention. We give you some tips that you can use to prepare a good structure for your cover letter .

Drop in as quickly as possible and say why you're applying. State a few strong points, so that the recruiter immediately knows which meat he has in the tub. Start your letter creatively. You can sell yourself, it's even the intention of a cover letter. So don't be too modest, but certainly don't exaggerate. Being honest about what you can do and who you are works best. If you don't have much experience, refer to student jobs, internships, volunteering, activities in your student club or at the youth club. Employers mainly want to know whether you know about approaches, have insight into the business, and can quickly participate in the organization. Show in your cover letter your enthusiasm for the company where you'll end up, what you know about the company culture, the range of tasks, the activities or the product of the company ... Tell why you think there is a match with your personality, experience and personal values. Refer to your resume: details about previous work experiences belong in your resume, but you can certainly refer to it in your cover letter, if this is an added value. Conclude with a reference to a job interview in the near future, in which you'll further explain your motivation and experience.

Cover letter layout

The layout of your cover letter is like the outfit that you wear for your job interview . It's the first thing a recruiter sees, and unconsciously it determines his judgment about you as a person. So work on a clear layout with a professional look, a readable font and clear structure. Your letter of motivation is never longer than one page . An A4 sheet may seem very short, but it's the norm. The motto “less is more” applies to form, size and layout in order to achieve an optimal design of the cover letter .

In a good letter, the date, your address, the name of the company and a short subject line can't be missing. A cover letter is your key to success. By distinguishing yourself from other candidates, you have a better chance of finding your dream job.

Rewriting a cover letter

A cover letter isn't recyclable. A common mistake is that old cover letters are often reused or that the same cover letter is sent to multiple companies. Each cover letter must be adapted to the company and the vacancy for which you're applying. A company quickly notices whether you're sending a standard letter and will therefore not pay any attention to it. Show that you have taken the time to put together a good covering letter and increase your chances of winning your dream job.

Before you start your cover letter, it's best to carefully examine the company for which you want to apply. Discover which products or services the company sells and delve into the mission and vision. Don't know where to start your research? Information about vacancies and application procedures is usually in the "About us" or "Career" section of corporate websites. Be sure to look up the company on social media or type in on Google. This way you can often come across surprising information!

Also make sure you have a 'personal touch'. Try to find out who you'll be interviewing with. This way you can find a lot of information on LinkedIn such as his / her position, education and interests. Who knows, you might find a common hobby or interest. Try to use that knowledge in your job interview, you can score with this! Also delve further into the position:

- What skills are they looking for for the job?
- Which of my skills are relevant to the job?
- What attracts you in the duties?

With all this information, adjust your cover letter to the company for which you're applying. Make it a personal and creative letter that shows that you're well prepared.

Avoid cliches in your cover letter

People fall into cliches when they have to write a cover letter. Avoiding cliches is therefore a way to stand out in the crowd. Avoid standard phrases such as 'I'm a motivated team player' and 'awaiting your answer'. A cover letter is something personal and you can also put a little creativity into it. Recruiters read dozens of letters a day and your letter will stand out more without the use of cliches.

Our ultimate do's and don'ts for your cover letter

Do's

Tell clearly why the company should choose you for the job. Try to convince the recruiter in your cover letter with clear arguments, without appearing arrogant.

✓ Start your cover letter with your strengths. You shouldn't mention weak points in your letter, as they will be asked during an interview.

✓ Make sure your content is positive and future-oriented.

✓ Support what you write in your cover letter with facts. For example, state professional successes. Instead of the commonly used terms such as "organizational talent", "committed" and "stress resistant", give examples that demonstrate these qualities.

✓ Only put the most important information in your cover letter and formulate it briefly and clearly. You can get to know the person responsible for HR, so you can also say something about your personality.

Don'ts

x Don't copy your cover letter from a previous application, but make sure it's tailored to the company and the job in question.

x Don't just list everything that's already in your resume, but give more explanation. Your cover letter is a supplement to your CV. You also don't have to state all elements of your CV in your cover letter.

x Make sure that you aren't arrogant or exaggerated in your cover letter.

x Errors are absolutely not done in a cover letter. So read it carefully for spelling and sentence structure .

x Don't use standard phrases or old-fashioned formulations . Write in your own style. Your cover letter is something personal.

See also: Why Employers Need Perfect Job Descriptions for Jobs

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