Writing a covering letter
What to include
Underline the skills in any job advert. Write a rough copy of your letter and include the skills underlined. Be positive and emphasise why you are perfect for the job. You should include any relevant skills you have.
First, give a summary of your skills and experience. Keep it brief and to the point. Then, say when you will be free for an interview. Remember to include your name, address, phone number (if you have one), the date and enclose a copy of your CV.
What to say
Be clear. Don’t use a long word if a short one will do. If you have been unemployed for a while, say how you spend your spare time (for example, by doing voluntary work, study and so on). Be honest, don’t say you enjoy bungee jumping if you get dizzy standing on a stool, you will get caught out at an interview. Keep to the facts and try not to oversell yourself.
How to say it
Try to find out the name of the person you need to write to. If you start with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, end with ‘Yours faithfully’. If you start with the person’s name (for example, ‘Dear Mrs Smith’, end with ‘Yours sincerely’. Finally, double-check your spelling and grammar before sending the letter.
How the letter looks
Be neat, whether your letter is handwritten or typed. Leave plenty of space around the edges and a clear space between each paragraph. Use good quality plain paper and envelopes. Check against your rough copy to make sure you have not missed anything. If your application is in audio format check that the content is clear, to the point and easy to understand.
Sign the letter and print your name underneath to make sure it can be read easily. Ask a friend or relative to check over your letter before you send it. Finally, make sure your application arrives on time. If you are posting it, allow for delays. If your application is late, the company might not even consider it and your time will have been wasted.
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