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General Chat Thread, Cover Letter in General; Not sure whether to post this here or in Educational IT Jobs but here goes I'm currently applying for another ...
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    Fleetwood's Avatar
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    Cover Letter

    Not sure whether to post this here or in Educational IT Jobs but here goes

    I'm currently applying for another school, but it's also asking for a CV and Cover Letter to support the application - I've never had to do a Cover Letter before, so I've got no idea what to write. The problem also is, I've already written a lot in the 'Relevant Experience' part of the form that I've probably already said everything I would in a Cover Letter, thus repeat myself.

    Any suggestions? Or should I just leave it as a AppForm+CV?

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBlax View Post
    should I just leave it as a AppForm+CV?

    They asked for a cover letter, so you should write a cover letter.


    There is a metric [censored] tonne of example cover letters here.

    Have a look through, it should help you out.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    They asked for a cover letter, so you should write a cover letter.
    When I used to employ staff, if I had asked for a cover letter and a CV was sent in without one then they had a hypothetical mark against them

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    If they've asked specifically for it, then you should oblige.

    A covering letter is your way of selling yourself through prose, rather than bullet-points or short answers via a CV or application. You may think you're repeating yourself but it's a chance to elaborately expand upon what you may have already said. If they've provided an application form and are asking for a covering letter, they must be prepared/knowing of the fact that somewhere, something will be repeated.

    Points to write about include;
    • Why you're applying for the job/what interests you or attracts you to it?
    • What skills and expertise do you have that you could apply to the position?
    • How has your previous employment and experience prepared/given skills required/applicable to this job (a chance to detail your specific roles and responsibilities)
    • How your personal qualities (time management/organised/capable of prioritising) can apply to this position/have applied to previous positions (link everything together to sell yourself completely).


    This thread should prove quite useful, and @witch is the person to ask around here!

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danp View Post
    When I used to employ staff, if I had asked for a cover letter and a CV was sent in without one then they had a hypothetical mark against them
    I've always seen it as a test.

    If you don't do what was asked of you, when it's something as benal as knocking up a cover letter, then it makes you look bad.

    "If you don't do this, what else are you going to refuse to do?"

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    Fleetwood's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pointers. I've never had to done one before so if I'm honest I never really realised their importance.. though I see that was a bit of a stupid idea to leave it, haha. Thanks again!

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    What can I add???@mako has it pretty much down pat. In your cover letter you talk SPECIFICALLY about how your expertise, experience etc makes you able to do the job in question. Refer to the job description.
    You may well repeat yourself a little bit but that is fine as long as you phrase it differently. It is, after all, the first thing they will see about you.
    It is a very good idea to mention what it is about the job that attracted you (even if it is not exactly true!) and even better is to mention something about the school that shows you have done a bit of research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    I've always seen it as a test.

    If you don't do what was asked of you, when it's something as benal as knocking up a cover letter, then it makes you look bad.

    "If you don't do this, what else are you going to refuse to do?"
    This is a very good point - I have seen many people fall foul of the 'application form NOT CV' request when they send in both...

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    Danp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    I've always seen it as a test.

    If you don't do what was asked of you, when it's something as benal as knocking up a cover letter, then it makes you look bad.

    "If you don't do this, what else are you going to refuse to do?"
    Exactly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    This is a very good point - I have seen many people fall foul of the 'application form NOT CV' request when they send in both...
    Is it such a no-no? I always figure that I have my CV to hand anyway, if they want to look at it they can do, if they don't they can feel free to ignore it.

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    Once heard of an urban myth about a guy who applied for a management position at Walls sausages and wrote his cover letter on a sausage shaped peice of cardboard.

    If its true I dont know just remember a lecturer using it as an example about how covering letters make you stand out and this guy would deffinately have stood out on a pile of A4 peices of paper.

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    Only thing I would add is to remember to keep it to a sensible length.
    Be concise and don't write an essay. I have always kept my cover letters to one side A4 max as if they have a lot of letters to read the longer ones might only be skim read.

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    CAM
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    I don't think all potential employers would find a sausage shaped letter as amusing though.

    I had to make one, pondered not doing it but knocked something together anyway. It's a paragraph, maybe two, basically summarising your CV. Why are you suitable for the job? What can you offer? Now condense it into a quick and easy meal for the paper sifters to digest. And know who you are supposed to be sending it to.

    Fictional example:

    Dear Mrs Lindty,

    Please find enclosed my application for quality assurance manager at Chocolate Charms Ltd. I can bring over five years of experience to the team from my past role at Kenneth Candy Warehouse, where I was responsible for testing and sampling the latest lines of confectionary on a daily basis. The role was later expanded to include carrying out research as to which lines of coffee and tea complement the company products, with positive results seen by the company board of directors.

    I thank you for taking the time to read my CV and look forwards to hearing from you soon.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr Farat Bannistad.
    Last edited by CAM; 9th May 2012 at 02:05 PM. Reason: See Witch's Post Below :)

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    DON'T send in your CV if they specifically say 'Application Form' JUST DON'T
    I do quite a lot of recruiting and the comments if someone does this come thick and fast! The person has to be super-great to get past that gaffe in the first place.
    On the cover letter, PLEASE don't use the person's full name: Mrs Smith or Mr Jones is fine.

  15. 2 Thanks to witch:

    CAM (9th May 2012), sonofsanta (9th May 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    DON'T send in your CV if they specifically say 'Application Form' JUST DON'T
    I do quite a lot of recruiting and the comments if someone does this come thick and fast! The person has to be super-great to get past that gaffe in the first place.
    Totally agree. I would use it as a way of weeding out people who cannot follow simple instruction.

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