12 tips to follow when writing your cover letter.
- Be short and to the point (never go over one page).
- Avoid having the letter as generic.
- Be enthusiastic and assertive but not pushy. Do not be begging for a position.
- Keep it neat. Don't send cover letters that are photocopied or marked.
- Use a basic font such as Arial or Times New Roman.
- Leave plenty of space around the edges of the page and clear space between each paragraph or section.
- Avoid using too many bolding, underlining and italicizing that can detract the reader from the real content.
- Make sure there are no grammatical mistakes and that the spelling is perfect.
- Write a rough draft first so that you can get your thoughts in order. Set it aside for a few minutes, get some fresh air, and take a walk. And then go back to refine the letter or add more details.
- Always get another person to read your letter before sending it to an employer
- Never use jargon if you can think of an everyday equivalent.
- If you address a name (e.g. "Dear Mr Smith") end with "Yours sincerely". If you address the letter as "Dear Sir or Madam" end with "Yours faithfully".
By Ahmed El Sherbiny
Human Resources Operations Senior Advisor; Microsoft Egypt