December 15, 2010
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First of all you need an effective cover letter then your resume can be impressive. But if your cover letter isn’t impressive, it’s entirely possible that your resume will never get read. First impressions are lasting impressions. The cover letter you attach to your resume and send to an IT company or public sector firm must make the very best impression possible. If you do it right, your resume will be read and you might get an interview. If you do it wrong then your resume won’t be looked at all. That’s how important a cover letter is. Most people need 30 seconds to read cover letter, so it has to make your case clearly and effectively.
1. Emphasize the skills required. Your cover letter should make very clear that you have the skills and the experience for the position you are applying for. State this in the first paragraph.
2. Make no mistake about it The most important caveat in a cover letter? Absolutely no errors! Your cover letter must be perfection itself. A typo, a poor printing job, a misspelling – mistakes will make a poor impression because they imply that you don’t care. Never hand write a cover letter. Never!
3. Use a word processor. Prepare your cover letter on a computer using MicroSoft Word. Don’t have a computer? Borrow a friend’s or go to a business center and rent one for an hour or two!
4. Avoid fancy fonts. You are not creating a flyer or a poster. So use a business font such as Arial. No colors. Black on white reproduces easily. Use a plain white paper. No deckled finishes or colors either. Print your cover letter and resume on a laser printer. DeskJet printer ink smudges.
5. Keep it short. Your cover letter should be one page in length and perfectly centered. The cover letter and resume are never folded. They are placed in an envelope large enough to accommodate them unfolded.