Cover Letter Tips: Making a Good First Impression

The job application process can cause anxiety at any stage in your life. Interview Skills Consulting is your important resource for successful interviews and productive job searches. Check out the following tips for writing cover letters:

  • The cover letter is key to the application process and your opportunity to create good impression on potential employers
  • Keep it short, sweet and well-crafted to ensure your cover letter and CV stand out from the crowd.

Writing a cover letter

Top Tips for Creating a Good Impression with a Cover Letter

The cover letter you send with CVs or job application forms is another way to sell yourself to potential employers. Further, when employers have dozens of applications the cover letter is not only a basic courtesy, but also an easy way for the employer to extract contact details.

Follow these simple tips for cover letter presentation to impress any employer or HR professional:

1. Use a simple, professional layout

No matter what type of job you’re applying for, your cover letter will impress if it has a recognised structure and layout, making it easy for the employer to find essential information with speed.

There’s no need to trial out any fancy fonts or format techniques with any business correspondence. Use Times New Roman or Arial fonts in standard 10 or 12 point size; they are both popular typefaces common to business letters.

2. Addressee and your contact details

Add your address details at the top of the page, as well as the employer address details. Traditional letter formats place your name and address as sender justified at the top right of the page, with the employer contact and address details justified to the left margin and ideally in such a position that the letter can be folded into three and the company address box fits neatly into a DL-size window envelope.

The date is then entered underneath the company address box.

3. Adopt a personal touch

If you don’t have the name of the workplace recruiter dealing with this vacancy, take time to call the business so you can personalise your letter. You need to add this individual’s name in the address details at the top of the page and should also use a typical personalised letter opening, for example, Dear Mr Smith.

Your closing salutation will then always be Yours sincerely. If you prefer to adopt a more formal approach in your letter, add For the attention of Mr Smith into the company address details at the top of the page and start your letter with a Dear Sirs opening. Never forget, anytime you start a letter with Dear Sirs you need to close with Yours faithfully.

4. Keep it brief

Keep cover letters to no more than one page. This means every sentence has to count, but you still need to highlight relevant experience and qualifications detailed within your CV.

5. Use unique content

Don’t paste chunks from your CV into any cover letter. It’s far better to summarise your selling points in brief highlights.

When you have finalised your cover letter, check out the layout using print preview and add any further returns to ensure your letter looks well balanced on the page. Check out a variety of business letters online if you have any further queries about layout and letter writing.

When you receive your first calls to interview, you’ll appreciate the time take to ensure your application stood out from the rest. If you’re worried about the interview process or find it difficult to sell yourself, contact Interview Skills Consulting for individual tuition and details on the best techniques to adopt.

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