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How To Write A Winning Cover Letter
The cover letter that accompanies your resume on your job search is the first thing that your prospective employer sees ?your first advertisement. Naturally you must embellish your cover letter with certain qualities so that it leaves a good impression on the employer about you. A cover letter that looks professional and smart will be good advertisement for you. Use good quality stationery, print the copy in fonts that are large enough to read and have a professional look. That will leave the person look at it with approval.
Your name and contact address on top of the page along with your contact details, phone numbers. e-mail ids etc. followed by the date of writing the letter. Below the date, print the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed. A word here. Find out the correct name of the person who is reading the letter and you will serve your cause well. Make sure that you have the name and the designation right (no spelling mistakes) because the slightest oversight here could make a big difference. People are very sensitive about their names and designations. A bit of research (such as calling the company to confirm the details) will do. Address the person formally with a Mr. Or a Ms or whatever is appropriate ?do not ignore any Dr. or Professor wherever required.
Having thus put the employer in a pleasant state of mind, your letter must now proceed to make a real impression. Form letters will make no impressions on anyone, so customize your cover letter for each job. Keep the content of the cover letter simple and professional in tone and about half a page in length (stretching to a maximum of one page). Briefly mention the job you have applied for in the first paragraph and the source from where you have heard of the opening.
In the second paragraph briefly highlight the qualities that make you the best candidate for the job. Think creatively and write persuasively and crisply. Put yourself in the employer's shoes and present yourself in a manner that would attract his attention. One way is to mention how you could add to the organization's bottom line. Be careful not to repeat what is in the resume. Merely use a line or two to say why you are the best person for the job. A phrase that gives them the idea that you have done your homework about the company would leave them in a favorable state of mind as well.
It is important that you leave your personal mark so write it in your own words because that adds a touch of authenticity to it and makes it stand out from a lot of form letters. Having put together a neat letter make sure that there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Check and recheck and get it proof read by a third person.
Add the most important bit i.e. closing the transaction by requesting time for an interview and mentioning the time when you would follow up. And having done that, please do follow up. Mention the enclosures after your signature.
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