CV Cover Letter - Tips and Advice

JobTestPrep has compiled cover letter writing tips for your convenience below.
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What goes in a cover letter? How can my cover letter be different from my CV? JobTestPrep is here to answer those questions with a list of helpful tips.

Cover Letter Tips

  1. Do Your Homework – The first paragraph of your cover letter should state the position you're applying for and why you're interested in it. Do your homework. Research the position and the organization for which you're applying and include relevant information in the leading paragraph.

  2. Formality – It is a common misconception that the cover letter is less formal than the CV itself. Be sure to be totally formal in your writing style and information provided in the cover letter. Informality can be seen as unprofessional, lazy, or misdirected.

  3. Length – Your cover letter should not be more than one page long. Employers receive many CVs and cover letters for a single available position. Being longwinded is not in your favor. If the cover letter is longer than a single page you have most likely said too much. Try to keep it concise.

  4. CV and Cover Letter – Do not be repetitive. The cover letter is not meant to be a walk-through of your CV. If there are things from the CV that may need further explanation feel free to do so in the cover letter but do not reference your CV more than once. Reference to the CV should only be used in cases in which something needs further explanation such as a gap in employment, frequent employment changes, etc.

  5. Language – Don’t use exaggerated language. There are very few cases in which the words 'always' or 'never' are appropriate. Saying you're 'always' on time, for example, is rarely true. This kind of language indicates that your words are unreliable and shows a lack of self awareness and maturity as it is a highly rare occasion that any employee is 'always' on time.

  6. Why me? – Always address why you would be a good candidate for the job. This is very important in customization. When applying for multiple jobs it is important you write a cover letter or make amendments to your cover letter for each position for which you're applying.

  7. Skills – When describing your skills or attributes make sure to keep them relevant to the position you're applying for. You may be an excellent surfer and tremendous athlete but unless you're applying for a position as a trainer in a gym or as a surfing instructor this information is likely irrelevant. Relate your skills to the position you're applying to.

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