What is cover letter?
A cover letter is like a sales letter. It should answer the employer’s needs and requirements. That is to say, it is very employer-centered.
Before you begin your cover letter, make sure that you have done a sufficient research on the employer and the company, and read through all the requirements posted on the advertisement.
What should be included in a cover letter?
- Your address
- Recipient’s Information (Including name, title, company name and address)
- Make sure the recipient’s name, title and address are correctly spelled.
- Quote reference number if any
- Address the recipients with names instead of “Sir / Madame”.
- Opening paragraph – Which posts are you applying for? From what sources did you know about the job?
- Second Paragraph – Why are you interested in the post?
- Third Paragraph – Your strengths, achievements and experiences. Provide evidence. Do not copy directly from the resume, choose the best three that are relevant to the post.
- Closing Paragraph – Request an opportunity for interview. Do remember to include your contact no.
- Use a new paragraph to write “Thank you for your kind consideration.”
Styles and Formats
- Minimize the uses of personal pronoun like “I”,”we” and “my” for it sounds too self-centered.
- Demonstrate your keen interest, and sell yourself without being aggressive or over-confident.
- Highlight your achievements with supported facts.
- Be concise about your points. Let the employer know that you are a focused person.
- Be consistent about the font and font size.
- Be business-like. Avoid using informal or too old-fashioned tone.
- Arrange the letter in a readable manner, with adequate margins and spacing.
- Customize your cover letter to match the employer, never send standardized letters to all employers.
- 1 page maximum
- Use good quality A4 paper which matches your resume.
- The most common type of resume is “FULL BLOCK” format, in which all lines of the letter start from the left.
- Send out your finished cover letter as soon as possible, for some of the employers might start recruiting before the application deadline.
- Remember to sign your letter.