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Tips on Writing a Cover Letter | Cover Letter Mistakes and Essential Elements

Tips on Writing a Cover Letter | A Common Mistake in Cover Letter, Essential Elements of a Cover Letter, what is a cover letter for resume, how to start a cover letter, free cover letter, short cover letter sample, how to write a cover letter indeed, good cover letter examples, online cover letter format…See more details below;

What is a Cover letter?

A cover letter or covering letter, is a letter of introduction placed/attached to another document such as a résumé or a curriculum vitae(CV), which gives a detail about your personality based on hiring, and why you should be hired for a particular job.

Some people feel formal cover letters are outdated, and in some cases that could be true. But cover letters are a must if the ad for the job you are applying for clearly states clearly that you should submit a cover letter (or has a place to upload one in their online application portal).

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If you are referred to the position by someone else or you are sending your application to a person you know, you should also include a cover letter that shares that information.

A research study (Links to an external site.) by JobVite found that 26% of recruiters read cover letters. Another study by CareerBuilder (Links to an external site.) reported that 56% of managers read them. They argue that cover letters are essential to give your resume a boost.

The bottom line is that a well-written, tailored cover letter can only improve your chances. It demonstrates that you have enough interest in and enthusiasm for the job to take the time to write up something specific and thoughtful.

A Common Mistake in Cover Letter

It’s mutual for hiring managers to not read cover letters. But still, it’s a good idea to submit one. On the chance it does get read, the reader is looking to learn something about your personality and who you are. The most common mistake people make in a cover letter is using it to restate what’s already in the resume. Instead, let it convey your enthusiasm, positivity, and (humble) confidence. Provide a bit of story that makes you more human, and express a compelling reason why you want this specific role at this specific organization.

Hiring managers are also aware that people play the numbers game and apply to many roles. So the cover letter is an opportunity to show that you care about this specific role and it is not a generic application. Ideally, you can do some brief research about the organization and make specific statements about why you want to work there as opposed to other places.

Essential Elements of a Cover Letter

A cover letter should be less than one page (3 short paragraphs at most) and highlights how you would add value to the company.  It is an opportunity to give the reader a sense of who you are, and why you want the particular job. It should not simply restate the information that is on your resume. Rather, it should make the reader curious to read your resume.

At a minimum, your cover letter should try to answer the following questions:

  • Why are you applying for the role?
  • What excites you about it?
  • Why are you an outstanding fit for the role?
  • Why do you want to work for the organisation?

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