A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Well-written cover letters for CV can help applicants obtain an interview for a job. That is why special time and attention must be given in writing a cover letter.
When a person applies for a job, the two most important components to consider are the CV and cover letter. In making a CV, it is easier to get the right format because of available CV examples. But for the cover letter, it should be more personalized while still following the general structure of a cover letter.
General Structure of Cover Letters for CV
Generally, cover letters should have three to five paragraphs divided into the following:
- The first paragraph must contain the job opening an applicant is interested in and also the source of information about the job opening.
- The second paragraph must discuss in detail the applicant’s interest in the job and the reasons for selecting the company.
- The third paragraph should summarize the strengths of the applicant and how they can be an asset to the company. This is also where related skills and work experience can be mentioned.
- The fourth paragraph may contain other relevant details to impress the prospective employer.
- The fifth paragraph can mention the applicant’s availability for interview. The applicant may also include a simple “thank you” note and express an interest in looking forward to hearing from the prospective employer.
Major Pitfalls When Making a Cover Letter
- The letter is too impersonal or generic. Many applicants settle for using “Sir” or “Madam” in the letter without taking the effort to find out the name of the contact person. This information can be obtained by calling the company. Doing this will reflect one’s interest in the job.
- No information about the company included. Before sending out the cover letter, it would be wise for the applicant to include a proper background of the company he or she is applying in.
- Weak opening paragraph. The applicant must make sure that his or her opening paragraph can catch the reader’s attention. A good first impression reflects the applicant’s drive and enthusiasm.
- Too short or long cover letter. A standard cover letter should have three to five paragraphs.
- Rehashing the CV. Some applicants fail to make a difference between CV and cover letter, oftentimes repeating most of the information in the CV. Instead, the cover letter should highlight the applicant’s relevant accomplishments and background to the job sought for.
- Generalization of skills and talents. Information contained in the cover letter should be specific. Many applicants simply state “having strong communication skills” without mentioning any proof or commendation about such skill.
- Writing in a humorous or informal tone. The tone of the cover letter should be serious.
- Too much focus on self. A cover letter dominated with “I” and “my” may not sell well to a prospective employer. It is best for an applicant to show how he or she can be of value to the company.
- No contact information. A cover letter should also contain the contact information of the applicant. Including the contact information is important in case the cover letter and CV become separated.
- Grammatical and spelling errors. Before an applicant submits the cover letter, it is important to double-check or have it proofread by another person for any spelling or grammatical error.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
In applying for a job, it is important for an applicant to know properly how to write a cover letter. In any job application, a cover letter plays a vital role. Cover letters for CV introduce applicants to prospective employers. The right impression with a well-written cover letter will allow an applicant to move one step further into the hiring process.