Yesterday I announced that I have decided to dedicate part of my blog to Career Advice and counseling, so today I decided to dedicate this blog post to writing your cover letter!

First of all, I want to share the Golden Rule of cover letters! Do NOT attach your cover letter to your CV and circulate it around town. A cover letter is your tool to approaching a position you want at a certain organization, so it is usually customized to the HR Department of the corporation you wish to apply to.

Your cover letter should be specific to the position you are applying for, relating your skills and experience to those noted in the job posting. Your cover letter is your first (and best) chance to make a good impression, so take your time writing it and remember, never ever trust spell check, and you shouldn’t trust your proof reading skills either (I am the author/owner of this blog and I assure you can find millions of mistakes on my blog entries – because I cant proof read my own writings.) So always get a friend/colleague or anyone with good English skills to proof read for you.

Just like writing an essay a cover letter should be a minimum of three paragraphs (although you can exceed that limit you are promptly advised to stick to the main three paragraphs when submitting your cover letter.)

First Paragraph:

Simply states who you are and why you are writing this letter.

  • Why you are writing and which position you are applying for.
  • Show from your research why you are interested in this position or organization. The goal is to make a connection – do this Briefly and Specifically or leave it out; sweeping statements will not work.

Second Paragraph:

This is the “why I’m qualified” paragraph. Highlight some of your most relevant experiences and qualities as they relate to the position for which you are applying. Choose 2 – 3 points you want to make about Specific experiences/accomplishments or about general qualities you have exhibited, and provide  Specific examples to support those points. This paragraph will change according to the job/employer for which you are applying. This is usually the longest paragraph of the letter. You may break this paragraph into two if it looks too lengthy or if your points work best in separate paragraphs.

Third Paragraph:

This is usually your last and closing paragraph in your cover letter. Thank your reader for accepting your application and taking the time to read it, if you are currently an employee, make sure to mention the times where you are available for an interview (for example during your lunch hours) – If not just briefly point out that you are available at any time, and include your contact number (yes again) so they can reach you for an interview.

Tip of the Day:

You should always make it a point to address the letter directly to the person who is in charge of hiring. This shows that it is not going to “The person who may be concerned”. What if the very statement puts a person off due to being very generic and you end up missing out on an opportunity of getting selected for an interview. So pick up the phone, and call the company in which you are hoping to apply, and find out who their HR Manager/officer is, if you are in doubt about whether that person is a male or female (For example the name noor) always ask, you never know how much you can get going that extra mile.

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