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  Category: Articles » Business » Employment » Article

Your New Covering Letter - Part 1

By Barbara Thorp

You have just finished your new résumé and it is just perfect. Now you must include a covering letter to assure a swift interview. Do not make your covering letter an 'explanation' of your résumé. You might ask why a covering letter is so important, but it cannot be stressed enough that a good covering letter will be the introduction you need to your new job and may be the edge you have over the other applicants.

So many job candidates are disappointed when they don't get replies from the jobs they have applied for, and this could be because of a 'badly composed' covering letter. Recruitment sites such as, and free job classifieds like have many articles and that explain the do's and don'ts of interviews and covering letters, and if you make these your first stops when looking for a job then you'll find all the help you need at your fingertips. If you don't want to be left out like so many other job searchers, then it is important to make sure that your covering letter is better than the rest.

There is nothing worse than sending out a bundle of great résumés and waiting for days without a reply. Searching classifieds for a job seems unrelenting, but you can find just the job opportunity you want if you visit sites like and where job search listings are easy to find, and where you can match up with something in no time. After all, when the days turn into weeks after sending out your résumés, then it may be time to look at the covering letter you are sending along with your applications.

The bottom line is that you don't want to be sitting at home waiting for replies that don't arrive, because your purpose in sending out submissions and a good covering letter is to be interviewed within the shortest time possible. Being a job seeker, you search through dozens of classifieds whether online at or, or at the local papers. Job hunting can be a long and arduous job in itself. Naturally, you don't want an unsatisfactory covering letter to spoil all of your hard work.

There are various views about whether a covering letter should be typed or handwritten. A typed letter is professional, neater and easier to read, and is your safest option. However, some old schools prefer a more personal handwritten letter. If you do opt for a handwritten covering letter, make sure it is legible, well arranged, tidy, and easy to read. Obviously, choose only the best quality writing paper. Nothing fancy or colored.


Try not to use 'Sir/Madam'. Not only is this impersonal, but the hiring manager will think you did not put an effort at all in getting your facts straight. It takes just a minute to pick up the phone, dial the company's number, and find out the name of person to whom you must apply. They'll be most glad to provide you all the details.

Begin your covering letter with 'You', 'Your', 'This', e.g. 'This position particularly interests me because…' or 'The position you are offering interests me because…', or 'It is important that you are aware of the skills which have prompted me to apply…' Do not use 'I', or 'Me', or 'My' – everyone begins that way, and it is boring. Don't be boring.

Bring attention to yourself because you are different, really interested in the job opportunity offered, and can make an enriching contribution to the company. Employers want to know their applicants are not just after a job; they need to be convinced that you will be an asset in the company.

As free job classifieds sites like and would tell you, don't just look for a job, but for a career. Conversely, in your cover letter, make sure you communicate well your desire to get that job opportunity and why you really deserve it. But do not just market yourself with this and that promises, but make the company believe what you can do for them. Shift the emphasis away from yourself; instead focus what you can do for the company. That way, they'll realise you are proving your interest, in not only winning over the other 'competitors' but in accomplishing it successfully.
About the Author
Barbara Thorp is an article contributor for Jobs section of

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  Some other articles by Barbara Thorp
Your New Covering Letter Part 2
It makes sense to write a good covering letter to complement your great résumé. You want the hiring manager to take a second look and give you the ...

Don't Make Mistakes at Your Interview - Part 2
Take Down Notes Ask you interviewer if you may jot down notes as the interview is taking place. This is so that you can ask the interviewer ...

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