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How to write a good cover letter?

Firstly, what is a cover letter? A cover letter is THE document that completes your resume, it is the essential element to your application. Its only goal is to show that you have understood the job requirements and what the company expects. It also indicates your skills, the reasons why you match the job description and states your motivation. So how do we do that?

How to write a good cover letter?

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The outline for your cover letter
The worst cover letter mistakes

The outline for your cover letter

First of all, you should make a list of what you want to put in it, and what you want to highlight; then you just have to work on the layout of the document.

Please note that the cover letter should follow a specific outline:

1. Why did you apply for this job? How did you hear about this position?
You can add a few lines about the company, to show that you have done your research and that you are involved.

2. What is your background? What are your skills? Why should they choose you? How can you be an asset to this company?
Feel free to point out how you stood out in your previous jobs.

3. Then comes the part where you specify that your resume is attached to this letter, that you remain at their disposal for any further information and that you are available for an interview. Add a suitable closing.

It is important that the text is easy to read, well organised and light, and that there is one paragraph for each topic. Just be sure not to write a novel! Try not to exceed one page, note that recruiters spend only a few minutes per application, resume and cover letter combined. In other words, your application is skim read, you need to draw your reader's attention.

The worst cover letter mistakes

Typos are banned from your letter! A recruiter won't read the rest of your cover letter if he discovers a typo. You are supposed to have carefully written it, spent time on it and proofread it many times, it should be perfect, check it again!

Make sure that you mention the job reference number and the name of the person you are writing to, do not mess up his/her name.

Admittedly, when you are looking for a job you send out many applications, and it may be tempting to copy and paste, to save time. This is not a good idea, you run the risk of making silly errors such as duplicated paragraphs, someone else's name etc., you will completely lose your credibility, and your chance to be selected for an interview at the same time. You can however take a look at some cover letter examples and use this as a framework for your application.

Do not pose as somebody you are not! Lying is bad enough, all the more so as today one can easily check the candidates on the Internet. Recruiters can also contact your former employers, check your social media or question you during the interview, nothing good can come out of it.

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