Getting The Job

Successful job hunting: Getting the right cover

ONCE you have made the decision to make a job move, what can you do to make yourself stand out from others to ensure that your transition is a successful one?

Letter of application

There is a school of thought that subscribes to the belief that a cover letter is more important than a resumé with regard to securing an interview.

A well-written cover letter can open the door for you to be interviewed by a potential employer.

To write a successful cover letter, be sure to cover the following items before sending it to a potential employer:

  • If you are sending your application via e-mail, in the subject field, enter the job title and, if available, the job posting number. Helping the recruiter sort the day’s mail will make the right first impression
  • Do your homework. Visit the company’s website or call the company switchboard for the proper spelling of the name and title of the person you are addressing. A “To whom it may concern” greeting is not enough
  • Each cover letter needs to be tailored to the role that the application is accompanying, ensuring that the role’s key criteria and requirements are addressed and clearly matched to your relevant experience
  • Keep letters to one page. Your resumé can be used to illustrate further the specific skills and accomplishments you mention in your cover letter
  • Keep paragraphs to no more than five lines in length. Use bullet points whenever possible to highlight lists and to make the letter more visually appealing and readable
  • Keep your stationery size,colour and texture simple
  • Do not include references. If an employer asks for references at a later stage, you can provide them
  • Always do a spell-check before sending. And have someone else read your letter to check the grammar and style
  • End the letter with the statement that you will call the person in a week or so. You should not expect the person to call you

While the cover letter should be a positive introduction of your interest in working for the company, make certain that the focus of the cover letter is on how you can help the company achieve its objectives. - Source: ST/ANN

Article by Margaret Cermak, director of consulting services at DBM Asia Pacific.