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The cover letter can be an effective marketing tool for candidates that are in the job market. Read below for five key tips from our Managing Director Lorraine Tribe, on how to write a cover letter.

Highlight your best qualities and experience

“My first tip would be to highlight all of your best qualities and experience in relation to the job you are applying for. If you are sending it directly to an employer, the cover letter should allow them to clearly see why you are the best person for the job. Too many candidates waste precious space on the cover letters with information that is irrelevant to the person making the decision about a candidate.”  

“If you are sending your cover letter to an agency, you should write it in such a way that allows the recruiter to use parts of the cover letter in their referral to the client, or industry of interest. Recruiters know exactly what their clients want and how they want information presented to them. Giving a recruiter a clear idea of your experience and personality is going to be your best chance of securing an interview.”

Be clear and concise

“Employers have limited time to read through the hundreds of resumes they receive everyday for a given role. To stand out from the masses, it is important that candidates are clear and concise, include the most relevant information first and are to the point.”

“Include all the key points early on as to why you should be referred for this job, in as few words as possible, that is what employers want to see”

Give brief and clear explanations about gaps in your employment

“A problem candidates are often unaware of is unexplained gaps in employment, this can dramatically affect your chances of an interview. If you have gaps in your employment and haven’t included them in your resume, the cover letter can be a good place to include these explanations. Keep your explanations brief, and be clear and honest as to why the gaps exist”

Less is more

“I can’t stress how important it is to keep the cover letter to one large paragraph. You have minimal time before your potential employer decides whether they will read your cover letter in more detail. Keep the cover letter to a maximum of one paragraph, and include the most relevant information to the job first.”

Tailor your cover letter to the job you are applying for

“A lot of candidates are making the mistake of including the same information in each cover letter. Be sure to only include information relevant to the job you are applying for. You should tailor your cover letter to each position, and read through it carefully to make sure there is not information from previous job applications.”

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