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How to Prepare an Effective Cover Letter

A cover letter is an additional document that can be sent to an employer or interviewer along with a resume. The objective of a cover letter is to talk about the job you are applying for, a little bit about yourself, and why the company should hire you. Cover letters can get a little confusing when building one, since many companies do not require job seekers to send a cover letter. However, attaching a cover letter to your resume anyway is a good way to show employers you are determined to make a good first impression. In order to effectively prepare a cover letter, follow these foolproof tips.

Don't Copy Your Resume

The purpose of your cover letter is not to put what is on your resume into paragraph form. Instead, you should be talking about yourself and your qualifications. This does not mean that you should talk about your childhood into adulthood. Use your resume as a guide and pull the most important information from it. For example, if you are a recent graduate you can mention that you are looking for a full time job where you can begin your journey in your choice of career. Highlight the skills you learned at past jobs and talk about how certain clubs, classes, or experiences at school helped you realize what you wanted to do with your life. Remember to keep these experiences relevant to the job you are applying to. Your future employer does not want to read about an experience that has nothing to do with their industry.

Keep it Short

Your cover letter should only be about three to four paragraphs long. This is not an essay and should be able to fit on one page, single-spaced. Just like your resume, your future employer or interviewer will only scan your cover letter. Imagine that the interviewer has to look at twenty other resumes and cover letters that day. Try to sell yourself in your cover letter in a way that makes you stand out from the others. Tackle each paragraph individually, highlighting important skills or the company in a way that makes you sound knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the job.

Refer to the Position

Put all of the necessary information about the job in the first paragraph. You don't need to fluff up your cover letter with an introduction and a conclusion, so cut straight to the point. In your first paragraph, you should mention the company name, the position you are applying for, and where you saw the advertisement. This can be the shortest of the three paragraphs since you are just explaining the purpose of your cover letter to the employer. Start the paragraph by saying, "I am writing in reference to the position..." You can also add a sentence saying you were excited to find a position that matched your skills and interests.

Target the Company

One of the most important parts of your cover letter is making sure to personalize it. Your cover letter does not need to be completely rewritten for every job you apply for, but you should always reference the company and job you are applying to in it. If your cover letter looks like a basic template with no personality or life to it, you can be sure it will be overlooked. Go to the company's website and read their About Us page. It will give you some information about their business that you can refer to in your cover letter.

For professional CV templates, check out Spicy Resumes' website. There you will be able to download templates and edit them to fit your needs. Remember to be concise and professional in your cover letter, and leave out any information that isn't relevant to the job. Just like your resume, your cover letter should always be updated to include new jobs and experiences that are important to you.

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