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How to write a successful cover letter

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Recently, Google released its most searched How to searches for 2017. Over the past 10 years we’ve become heavily reliant on Google to help us with everything from how to boil an egg and how to tie a tie to how to write a cover letter, which ranks number 8 on the list.

A cover letter comes with a lot of pressure – it’s your chance to show how perfectly perfect you are for a job, so it’s no surprise that people turn to Google for advice. Our advice? Follow these simple guidelines and hopefully this will be the last cover letter you need to write this year.

Use the person’s name

Start your cover letter on a personal note and avoid using the generic Dear Sir/Madam. If there is no name on the job listing, make a call and figure out who is accepting. Alternatively check the company LinkedIn and find the applicable addressee.

Find your inspiration in the job ad

If you’re not sure what to say go back to the original job ad, print off a copy and keep it in front of you as you type your cover letter. The job ad will tell you what the hiring manager is looking for, so use it to frame your cover letter.

Go through the ad and clearly point out that your experience and skills match each requirement. This is the simplest and best way to catch an employer’s attention.

Come clean on any unusual CV details

If you were looking at someone’s CV and they had a gap of a year or 6 months or switched career from doctor to financial analyst, wouldn’t you be curious as to what happened?

If you’ve made a career change, recently moved to a new country or if you’ve been out of work for a while now is the time to address it. If you ignore details like this the hiring manager could get suspicious and ignore you in return.

What can you bring to the company?

Rather than focusing on what you want or how you’d benefit from the job on offer, talk about what positive impact you’d make to the business. Reading about how your innovative ideas or how you could increase ROI is much more interesting than reading about how much you’d love to work in the company’s nice office, or how convenient the new commute would be.

Always spell check

Show your attention to detail by ensuring your cover letter is well phrased and has no mistakes. If you’re not confident in writing get someone who is to read it over for you.

Take the time to write a proper cover letter; be clear, concise, and most importantly specific about what you are looking for and how your previous experience is relevant to the job. Follow these simple guidelines and hopefully you won’t be Googling How to write a Cover Letter anytime soon.

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