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Mastering the Art of Cover Letters: What to Include and Avoid

In the competitive job market, a well-crafted cover letter can make all the difference between getting your foot in the door for an interview and being overlooked. While your resume outlines your work history and skills, your cover letter allows you to tell your story, highlight your achievements, and demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for the position. Here's how to master the art of cover letters by knowing what to include and what to avoid.

Candidate writing cover letter

What to Include?

1. Contact Information:

  • Your contact information should be at the top of the cover letter, including your name, address, phone number, and email address.

2. Employer’s Contact Information:

  • Include the name of the hiring manager (if known), the company name, and the company’s address.

3. Greeting:

  • Address the hiring manager by name if possible. If you don’t know the name, use a generic greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager.”

4. Introduction:

  • Begin your cover letter with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Mention the position you are applying for and where you found the job posting.

5. Body Paragraphs:

  • Use the body paragraphs to highlight your qualifications, skills, and experience.

  • Provide specific examples of how your past experiences have prepared you for the role.

  • Tailor your cover letter to the job description, making sure to address the key requirements and qualifications listed in the job posting.

6. Closing Paragraph:

  • Summarise why you are the ideal candidate for the position.

  • Thank the employer for considering your application and express your eagerness to discuss the opportunity further in an interview.

  • Include a call to action, such as expressing your willingness to provide additional information or to schedule an interview.

7. Closing Salutation:

  • End your cover letter with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name.

What to Avoid?

1. Generic Greetings:

  • Avoid using generic greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.” Whenever possible, address the hiring manager by name.

2. Repeating Your Resume:

  • Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it. Use the cover letter to highlight your most relevant experiences and achievements.

3. One-Size-Fits-All Cover Letters:

  • Avoid sending the same cover letter for every job application. Instead, tailor your cover letter to each position by highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job.

4. Negativity:

  • Avoid any negative language or discussing why you left your previous job. Keep the focus on why you are excited about the opportunity and what you can bring to the role.

5. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes:

  • Proofread your cover letter carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes. Typos and errors can make a negative impression on potential employers.

6. Salary Expectations:

  • Avoid discussing salary expectations in your cover letter unless the job posting specifically asks for this information.

7. Too Long or Too Short:

  • Your cover letter should be concise and to the point, typically no longer than one page. Avoid rambling or including unnecessary information.

Finding your dream job may not happen overnight, but with the right strategies and persistence, it is possible. By knowing yourself, researching the job market, building your network, developing your skills, optimising your application materials, preparing for interviews, and following up, you can increase your chances of success and land the job you've always wanted.

Ready to take the next step in your career?

At First Konnection, we offer exciting job opportunities in various fields. Click the "Enquire Now" button below to start crafting your winning cover letter today and take the first step towards your dream job! And remember, your cover letter is your chance to make a strong first impression, so make it count!


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First Konnection is a leading specialist education recruitment agency that provides recruitment and business solutions to companies in the education industry located both locally and regionally. Licensed by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, First Konnection has developed into a top recruitment firm for enterprises of all sizes, offering specialised turnkey solutions and invaluable advice to meet our clients' needs.

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