Writing your cover letter

In most cases, cover letters are as important as your CV. A cover letter should almost always accompany a CV unless you have good reason not to do so. Here are some guidelines you should keep in mind while writing your cover letter.

# Keep your cover letter concise and job specific. It should be modified to address the specific job you are applying for. The goal when writing the cover letter is you address your strengths and accomplishments in a paragraph or two.

# Relate your past work experience and training to the qualities the company is looking for.

# If you are straight out of school and do not have a lot of experience to write about, relate your accomplishments, part-time jobs, research, and/or class projects to the qualities the company is looking for.

# Make it clear in your cover letter that you understand what the company is about. This means doing a little research ahead of time so that you can better match your skills/experience with their needs and goals.

# Keep your formatting consistent throughout the cover letter. 

# Be sure to double and triple check your grammar and spelling. It is also a good idea to have someone proof read for you. The more eyes that see it and the more feedback you receive, the better it will be! 

Targeted Covering Letters
Tailoring a covering letter is the best possible way of highlighting your genuine interest in a company / position you are applying for. A speculative letter can often give the impression that you are not 100% interested in the company.
To help you write your covering letter double check the following;
# Perform research into the company and industry - demonstrating your knowledge in these areas will no doubt impress the reader and encourage them to pursue your application.
# Make sure that your letter demonstrates evidence of any specific competencies the company are looking for. These can often be found on the job advert itself or by looking on the company's website.
# Does the position require specific qualifications? If it does, make sure they are mentioned in some way in your letter.
# Address the covering letter to the person named on the application form - this will stand a greater chance of actually being read. 
# Refer to any references / names seen in the application / job advertisement. This should be stated at the top, for example "Re: Application EMJ2548, Marketing Executive". 
Speculative covering letters
If you are not applying for a specific job and are making a speculative application or general enquiry, the key objective of your covering letter is to express your interest in that particular company and industry together with your reasons for seeking employment there - detailing any relevant suggestion as to what you have to offer the company.