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Here I am, the obvious choice! How to write a convincing cover letter?

5. 2. 2016

Four years of professional experience, English proficiency, and all the required education. Resumes that are piling up on an HR manager's desk after posting a job offer are monotonously similar. Lo and behold, an impressive cover letter! Only a few important phrases are needed to make your resume stand out and get ahead of the other candidates. Read how to do it.

Here I am, the obvious choiceWhy should you write a cover letter, when a prospective employer does not ask for it explicitly? Because it will have an impact. In a mass of e-mails and letters, you will stand out. You will be demonstrating that you have a clear interest and willingness to go the extra mile for success. Don't take things too far. Ten sentences that capture your competencies specifically tailored for the advertised position are just enough.

Write to a particular person

While your CV should be written in such a format, which could practically be passed around universally, the cover letter should be individually tailored to the firm you are applying to. Read the requirements for the offered position carefully and emphasize specifically the skills you have that make you the right candidate. If possible, address the letter to a particular person, for example, "Dear Ms. Smith".

Introduce yourself as a team player

Empathize with the employer – forget the self-serving statements like 'I've always wanted to work in a company like yours' or 'I will certainly enjoy a job at this position,' because quite honestly the HR department has no interest in fulfilling your dreams. Contrarily, point out your experience and knowledge that you can use to enrich the company. For example, mention some positive references from realized projects, a plenitude of personal contacts to business partners, experience with team management, etc.

Video job application – do you dare?

Not everyone is comfortable being on camera, so in this case, such an application could do harm to those candidates. But if you are one of the passionate YouTubers and short video spots are not too Geeky for you, you can make a simple video presentation of no more than 30 seconds and attach it to the e-mail. In comparison to a written letter, you can demonstrate your kind behavior, communication skills, and originality. There is no sense in trying to make a professional video, which could seem too scripted. Just do it in such a way that you are sitting with the HR manager at the interview and answering the question ‘why do you think that this particular position is suitable for you.’

Eliminate mistakes and typos                          

Ask somebody you trust to read over the cover letter or video application before you send it. You can easily overlook even blatant grammatical errors and typos in a text you were working on too long. Either a family member or a friend can easily spot and correct them. Don't let a careless mistake ruin your reputation.