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Your ultimate cover letter checklist

cover letter tips

Malaysia has found itself comfortably well-off economically, and hopes to achieve high-income status in the coming years. Fittingly, this would mean an influx of job opportunities opening up for locals and foreigners, alike. In a sea of hopeful applicants, you need to have an edge above the others to get noticed by recruiters.

A well articulated cover letter in addition to your CV is sure to get the attention. Despite what many may think, cover letters are not redundant, and can really help you get that invite for an interview for your dream job.

Crafting a well-written cover letter is an art. Let us help you perfect yours with these handy tips and tricks.

Introduction: This includes a strong opening paragraph that communicates your job target and key strengths. It should be written in a standard business letter format, and must be addressed to a specific individual in the company.

Body: Your cover letter’s body should emphasise how you would benefit the employer if you were hired, by demonstrating your expertise using industry-specific language, and mentioning relevant accomplishments. Ensure your letter is engaging, and contains just the right amount of information to entice the reader while reviewing your resume. Most importantly, it should sound you and it should reflect your personality.

Closing Paragraph: Check that you’ve provided an easy way for employers to contact you, and end it with a call to action, such as a request for an interview.

Things you should include:

1. What are your applying for
After briefly introducing yourself, clearly state what job you wish to apply for. Never go for the ‘I’m willing to apply for any openings that you have’. Believe us, the recruiter will immediately toss your cover letter in the bin. Rather, state the exact job position and also mention where you found the opening.

2. Why you’re interested in the job
It’s very important for recruiters to see your interest and enthusiasm towards the job. They want to see why you are interested in their company specifically, and this is how you should pen your letter. Try your best to give them a clear idea of what drives you to want to join their company instead of just giving a general answer like, ‘I’ve always dreamed to be a part of such a prestigious company.’

Example: “This opportunity particularly interests me because my passion and values are aligned with your company goals. As a volunteer for the Children’s Welfare Association, I have seen your great contributions to this cause, and personally working with you will further extend my experience and understanding of the field.”

3. What your relevant experiences or transferable skills are
Your best selling points are your experiences or transferable skills that match the role at hand. But don’t just repeat what’s in your CV - ensure you craft a more detailed explanation of what you did in the past, and how it has shaped you as a professional and individual, and what experiences you have gained. You can tell a short but relevant story in previous jobs or even a more personal experience that can justify how you’re fit for their company.

Example: “As my attached resume indicates, I have years of experience in the industry. One pivotal moment in my career was during my immersion with indigents in a foreign country. It has opened my mind more to the realities of life, making me appreciate my job more, and also making me more dedicated to it.”

4. Tell them you’d like an interview
Of course it’s important to let the recruiter know that you’d very much like to be interviewed for the position. Briefly state how meeting in person is a good way for you to better explain your credentials.

Example: “I would very much appreciate an opportunity to talk to you in person, to explore how my skills and experience could best meet your company’s needs.”

5. Express your gratitude for being considered
Don’t forget to say thank you for their time and consideration, and also wish the reader well before ending your cover letter.

Example: “I truly appreciate you taking the time to read and consider me for the position. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Are you looking for more career tips? Visit our career center here.