The best covering letter - the first impression counts!
Your covering letter offers a perfect opportunity to leave a good first impression. Write a letter which demonstrates professionalism, creativity, self-confidence and enthusiasm. After all it is important to present yourself as well as possible. The goal of the covering letter is to emphasise your own strengths and skills over a maximum of one page.
Refer to the position advertised. Communicate to the potential employer why you are the ideal candidate for the desired position. Try not to write only about yourself here; you should bring across that you have already done extensive research on the company:
- Make clear why you are useful to the company.
- What advantage does the company derive from employing you?
- How can you create added value?
Many HR departments will assess your covering letter as an example of your linguistic skills. Spelling or grammar mistakes are absolute no-nos. Have your covering letter proofread by someone else to be on the safe side.
Structure - the ideal composition of your covering letter
- Form of address: Avoid the general clichés like "Dear Sir/Madame". If you do not know the name of your contact person, find it out.
- First paragraph: Refer specifically to the job that you are applying for (e.g. quote the job number, where saw the vacancy advertised etc.).
- Second and where relevant third paragraph: Explain why you are particularly well suited to this role.
- Emphasise your strengths and demonstrate your motivation.
- Conclusion: End the covering letter by referring to the attached CV and the documents.
Structuring advice for the covering letter
- The letter should not be longer than one page. Three to four concise paragraphs are enough.
- Use an easily legible, unadorned font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
- Include your contact details such as telephone number, e-mail address and postal address.
- Close the covering letter with "Kind regards" or "Yours sincerely".
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