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Basics of a Cover Letter

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While writing down your letter, refer to the following points, constituting the important elements of your cover letter:

  • Reason of your application has to be put first to make the purpose of the letter, clear to the reader.
  • Make your best efforts pulling the attention as this is your one minute commercial of your candidature.
    • Don’t send it out as a mass mail as it would deteriorate the affectivity of your letter. Do it one at a time for each employer and position respectively.
    • Give your letter professional look with margins set at either ½ or ¾ inch on all sides.
    • Use only standard fonts like Times New Roman or Arial and the font sizes must range from 11 to 12. And keep it consistent with your resume.
    • Don’t forget to mention your name and contact details like, address and phone number at the top of the page.
    • Mention the date of writing the letter/sending.
    • Take care of grammar, spelling and punctuation marks. And use only single space.
    • Highlight both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of your experiences and accomplishments.
    • Don’t employ generic letters. Hiring managers are experts and can spot these a mile away. Draft special letter for each & every employer.
    • While writing, keep the interests of the reader in mind; the letter is about you, but it is targeted at and meant for someone else.
    • Sell yourself, market the benefits you can offer the employer and show how you can meet the needs of the employer, rather than what you hope they will do for you.
    • Highlight your top three to five key points from your resume and use key words and phrases.
    • Avoid  using sentences that begin with “I”
    • Do not forget to give some “breathing room” between each paragraph with a single space.
    • Don’t forget to proofread it yourself, and then have it critiqued by a professional career counselor.
    • Do laser print it on the exact same ivory or off-white paper you used for the resume.
    • Keep a hard copy of the letter with the attached job description in your files for your records and reference; it will come in handy later.
    • Sign the original, attach it above the resume and while sending hard copy, either deliver it in hand or use fast mail services.
    • Use a large 9×12 envelope to enclose your cover letter so that it remains flat.
    • Make follow-up calls after a reasonable amount of time to check the status and to request an interview.


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