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Catching the eye of a prospective employer takes more than a well-crafted resume. The content of the cover letter or email that you use can also make the difference between securing an interview or receiving a rejection letter. There are steps that you can take to increase the impact of your cover letter.

Let Your Personality Shine Through:

It is difficult to imbue your resume with your personality. There are so many facts and figures that have to be included as standard, such as work history, education and skills, that your character may have to take a back seat. The cover letter allows you to express yourself more freely. In your cover letter, you can allow your enthusiasm and passion for the role on offer to come to the fore.

Address it Personally:

Before you write your cover letter, do your research into the company. A cover letter addressed “”Dear Sir or Madam”” will have less impact than one addressed personally to the hiring manager. However, be sure to get the right gender and title. Addressing your cover letter to a manager who has left the company or to “”Mr. Smith”” when the hiring manager is a woman could count against you.

Make Best Use of the First Paragraph:

It is vital to catch the hiring manager’s eye as soon as possible. Get your best qualities into the first paragraph and let them see what a strong candidate you are for the role on offer. Include your key skills and experience to ensure that you are invited along for an interview.

Be Concise:

Do not re-write your entire resume in your covering letter. Try to keep the letter to one page or, at most, two sides a sheet of paper. Hiring managers are often short of time and they will probably not have time to read a lengthy cover in full.