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When you send a resume, you need to send a short cover letter with it as an introduction and to grab the reader’s attention. It should be no more than a page long and, ideally, it should contain three to four paragraphs.

Now follow these easy steps to create a top cover letter and make sure you check out the sample cover letters at the end of the story. Our samples are a guide only.

Appearance

For hard copies, use the same type of paper and font as your resume. The experts recommend sticking to the plainest style possible – A4 quality white stock and Times New Roman, 11 point.

Place the name of the addressee, their title, company name and address in the left hand corner. Some experts say place your own details in the right hand corner like a traditional letter with the date. CareerOne thinks this could be overkill. Your contact details are on every page of your resume – right? Just make sure you have your name below “Yours sincerely”. Alternatively, you could put your details top and centre – the same way they appear on your resume.

If you are sending your resume via email, include the cover letter and resume as one document. It’s more convenient for the recipient. When posting or hand delivering your resume, you don’t make the recipient open two envelopes so there is no reason to make the online reader open two documents.

Content

Paragraph one of your cover letter should state the reason you are writing to this person – namely that you are interested in working for their team.

Paragraph two explains why the company in question should be interested in you. Too many people write about why they want to work for a particular company or land a particular job. Companies want to know why they should hire you.

Paragraph three should be a call to action, namely a meeting or job interview.