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Cover letters add context to ones’ CV, experience and skills, helping candidates to better sell themselves and stand out. CV writing expert Maria Ovdii, from Ivory Research, shared her top tips on drafting a cover letter that guarantees an interview and what stereotypes to avoid, as she explained it can be a “golden ticket to landing a dream job”.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, she began: “A cover letter is your first chance to explain why you’re the best candidate for a job, you should demonstrate passion and understanding of the role and company you’re applying for.
“Your cover letter should act as a personal introduction and help to sell your application.”
Ms Ovdii added that a cover letter should not copy directly from a CV but rather complement it concisely.
“Knowing where to start is the hardest part, but who you are, what position you’re applying for and how you meet the requirements of the role is the biggest aspect and what you should begin with.
“The best cover letters get to the point quickly, so make sure not to go over one page or you risk losing the reader’s attention.”
Ms Ovdii shared the best practices for writing cover letters:
“Before you draft anything, plan what you would like to say and position it in terms of what is the most important. Many cover letters have no structure which makes them difficult to follow.
“Think about who will be reading it, write directly to them, and why they should hire you.
“Research the organisation and culture as well as their market position, show you know your stuff.
“Don’t leave it until the last minute, make sure you are prepared ahead of the deadline.”
“Start the cover letter strongly, express a passion for your chosen career.
“Show off your personality and how you would contribute to the wider working community and not just be good at your job. Be honest, but don’t include negative information.
“When writing your cover letter, remember that yours is in a huge pile of submissions. You need to make yours stand out by being unique, so there are a number of cliches to avoid, such as:
‘I am applying for this job because…’
‘Throughout my life I have always wanted to work at…’
‘I would like to work for your company because …’”
“Make sure to proofread it and send it to others as they may notice errors that you can’t,” the expert warned.
Many people struggle not necessarily with the layout or the planning of a cover letter, but rather what they should actually be writing about.
Ms Ovdii advised on this as well, indicating that it should all be relevant to the job, ones’ experience and why they should be the selected candidate.
What to include:
How you became interested in your chosen career and what aspects of your previous experience you have found the most interesting.
Your career aspirations, and how the company will help you achieve this.
What knowledge and skills you possess that directly relate to the job specification.
Why you would be a good staff member and a positive contribution to the wider team.
Be yourself – include your passions which display positive character and personality, it’s always important to show you are a team player but it’s equally as important that your personality fits in with your future colleagues.
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