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Brilliant Cover Letters by James Innes

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CHAPTER 10
My five top tips
to make your
cover letter
stand out
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M10_INNE4636_01_SE_C10.QXP:M00_INNE4636_01_SE_C00 27/7/09 11:06 Page 200
I
f you only have time to read one chapter of Brilliant Cover Letters, this
is the one I would most like you to take the time to read. See it as a
‘cheat sheet’. It encapsulates the most important principles that we
have covered in the book. Make an effort to accommodate all these
when writing your cover letter and you’ll immediately be well above
average.
1 Get through to the right person
The best person to whom to address your cover letter is the
person who is going to be making the decision as to whether or not
to interview you. Not only do letters addressed to a specific
person achieve better results, but letters that actually reach the
decision maker have an even higher chance of making the
grade.
2 Communicate clearly, concisely, engagingly and
articulately
It is essential for your letter to be easy for the reader to scan quickly
and effectively. Take your time to carefully phrase your thoughts; do
not rush yourself. Make sure you get your message across.
3 Tell a good story
Like all the best stories, the best letters have a strong and clearly
defined beginning, middle and end. It’s important to make sure
your letter is structured in a logical fashion. Capture their attention,
make an impact, maintain their interest and finish with a strong
closing paragraph.
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202 brilliant Cover L etters
4 Target/tailor your letter
You should always tailor your letters according to the specific
organisation to which you are applying. A carefully targeted letter
can easily mean the difference between success and failure. Nobody
likes being spammed.
5 Check your spelling and your grammar
Before sending off any letter, make sure you have read through it
very carefully and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
It’s always a good idea to ask someone else to double-check for you.
Conclusion
Writing a cover letter is not rocket science! Most of what I have outlined
is reasonably simple to take on board and it’s just a matter of putting in
the necessary time and effort.
I do hope you have found Brilliant Cover Letters useful. Don’t forget to
visit The CV Centre’s online forum to let us know how you get on:
http://www.ineedacv.co.uk/forum.
You will also have the opportunity to make contact with me and my team
directly.
Good luck!
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