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How Can a Cover Letter be Effective?
The cover letter you send with your resume may decide your fate. It is just an introduction to your resume and should not repeat what you say in your resume. Its purpose is to interpret the data and facts in the resume.

As this is your first contact with the prospective employer, give it a personal touch. It has to spur the reader to take a look at your resume. Make every word count. Say how you are different from others without being overbearing or telling lies. You must succeed in making your voice heard impressing the prospective employer.

There are three types of letters:

1. The application letter responds to a known job opening. It should be specific to the position you are applying for, relating to the criteria listed in the job posting. The first paragraph should say why you are writing it. Mention from where you heard about the position you are applying for, and where you found the job posting. If you have any, mention a mutual contact. The middle paragraph should say what you have to offer the employer. Specifically say how your qualifications, skills and experience match the job you are seeking. Conclude your letter by thanking the employer for sparing time to read the letter.
2. The prospecting letter enquires about possible positions. In the first paragraph, you say how you have come to know about the company and say that you are interested in a particular type of job, mentioning your area of interest. The middle paragraph should refer to your qualifications, skills and experience. The last paragraph should thank the prospective employer for sparing time to go through your letter.
3. The networking letter seeks information and assistance in your job search. Speak about you, your qualifications, skills and experience. Mention your interests and preferences, seeking information about job openings. Solicit their help and request for informational interview.

You must have a separate letter for each position you apply for. Don’t send a form letter for every position or employer or network.

Effective cover letters explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and underscore your most relevant skills and experience.

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