There is a school of thought that many people buy into that they do not need to include a cover letter with their CV. Since a CV and resume are much different from each other, they think they only need a cover letter for their resume. This is actually quite wrong and every CV needs to have a cover letter attached to it. There are many ways to make your CV cover letter work for so that you stand out above all the others who are applying for the position, fellowship or grant. The cover letter is your introduction to your future employer. You want them to take notice of you before you even meet. The following are some tips for making your cover letter stand out:
• Be Interesting – You want to be as interesting as possible without fabricating your cover letter. Those who read the CV cover letters read many of them in one day. Typically they only spend a few seconds on each one. If yours is interesting enough, they are more likely to read it all the way through instead of skimming it. If you really want to make a statement, do it in an interesting manner.
• Keep it Simple – While you may want to show of your verbosity or your intellect, the CV is meant to do that for you. The cover letter should be simple and should not be over written. You do not need to use your linguistic skills to make a point. This is not to say that you need to dumb it down, but you certainly do not need to overuse technical terminology and big words if there is an easier way to convey your point.
• Build a Relationship – Even if you have not met the recruiter or the fellowship member who is making the decisions on who to hire, you can begin building a relationship with them through your cover letter. If you know the name of the person, make sure that the cover letter is addressed directly to them. Use their name in the greeting and write the cover letter as if you are speaking directly to them.
• Make Sure to Edit – After you have written the cover letter for your CV; make sure that you have edited it before sending it off. You may want to sleep on it for a day and go back to it fresh. Read it over again and make sure that all spelling and grammar is correct. Read it out loud and make sure that there is a flow to it.
You want your CV cover letter to be an introduction from you to the institution you are applying at. If your letter is not properly written, it is not showing you at your best. Make sure to edit it completely and use common language when writing it. You want it to stand out in a good way so you get the position, fellowship or grant you are applying for so make it count.
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