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5 Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter
- Categorized in: Resume Tips
You need an effective cover letter.
Your resume can be very impressive. But if your cover letter isn't equally impressive, it's entirely possible that your resume will never get read. First impressions are lasting impressions. Most people spend about thirty seconds reading a cover letter, so it has to make your case clearly and effectively.
How do you write an effective cover letter?
Go to Job Search and read the Resume and cover letter guide. Guide Alison Doyle also has an email course on writing cover letters. You should subscribe to it. Even if you think you know what you are doing, it pays to keep your skills current.
Here are five tips for writing an effective cover letter.
1. Be brief and to the point.
Most of the time a cover letter for a job application only has to state that you are applying for a position and that the application and supporting materials are enclosed. That's it.
2. Make no mistake about it.
The most important caveat in a cover letter? Absolutely no errors! Your cover letter must be perfection itself. A typo, a poor printing job, a misspelling - mistakes will make a poor impression because they imply that you don't care.
3. Use a word processor.
Never hand write a cover letter. Never! Prepare your cover letter on a computer using MicroSoft Word. Don't have a computer? Borrow a friend's or go to a business center and rent one for an hour or two!
4. Avoid fancy fonts.
You are not creating a flyer or a poster. So use a business font such as Arial. No colors. Black on white reproduces easily. Use a plain white paper. No deckled finishes or colors either. Print your cover letter and resume on a laser printer. Deskjet printer ink smudges.
5. Keep it short.
Your cover letter should be one page in length and perfectly centered. The cover letter and resume are never folded. They are placed in an envelope large enough to accommodate them unfolded.
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