Resume and Interview Tips
Your cover letter should encourage the reader to want to know more about you and make them interested in inviting you for an interview. This is the first impression the recruiter will have of you and you want to make it a good one. Before you send it, check it, double check it and check it again - make sure it's perfect!
What to include
Underline the skills in the advert. Write a rough copy of your letter and include the skills underlined. Be positive and emphasize why you are perfect for the job. You should include any relevant skills you have.
First, give a summary of your skills and experience. Keep it brief and to the point. Then, say when you will be free for an interview. Remember to include your name, address, phone number (if you have one), the date and enclose a copy of your CV.
What to say
Be clear. Don't use a long word if a short one will do. If you have been unemployed for a while, say how you spend your spare time (for example, by doing voluntary work, study and so on). Be honest, don't say you enjoy bungee jumping if you get dizzy standing on a kitchen stool, you will get caught out at an interview. Keep to the facts and try not to oversell yourself.
How to say it
Include the job reference number if there is one in the job details. Enter it below the opening line. For example:
Re: Job reference 345
Try to find out the name of the person you need to write to. If you start with 'Dear Sir/Madam', end with 'Yours faithfully'. If you start with the person's name (for example, 'Dear Mrs Smith', end with 'Yours sincerely'. Finally, double-check your spelling and grammar before sending the letter.
How the sample cover letter should look:
Be neat, whether your letter is handwritten or typed. Leave plenty of space around the edges and a clear space between each paragraph. Use good quality plain paper and envelopes. Check against your rough copy to make sure you have not missed anything. If your application is in audio format check that the content is clear, to the point and easy to understand.
Sign the letter and print your name underneath to make sure it can be read easily. Ask a friend or relative to check over your letter before you send it. Finally, make sure your application arrives on time. If you are posting it, allow for delays. If your application is late, the company might not even consider it and your time will have been wasted.
An example of a typical Cover letter. Now they do get much better than this, but at the very least your sample cover letter should be of this standard, AND NOT LESS. If you think this will do, then good luck, but at least, but they do and can be much better:
Phone number 500
Dear Mr Knight
I would like to apply for the job of IT Support Officer which was advertised in today's Journal.
For the past four years I have worked in IT with Brown's. As the company is moving to another part of the country, I will be made redundant in two weeks' time.
My present job involves various IT duties in person and by phone. I also:
deal with IT queries
handle incoming calls
handle incoming and outgoing post
order printer consumables.
Before this job I was a trainee with Brightson's (Solicitors) in North Street, Invertown and completed RSA and II in Business Administration and have various Microsoft package experience.
I have always enjoyed working with people and think my previous experience will allow me to work as part of the team and to be an effective representative of your company.
I am available for interview at any time and could start work immediately. You can ask for references from my present and previous employers.
Please find enclosed a copy of my CV for more information.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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