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Old 17.03.2007, 17:26
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cover letter for CV. how long??

Hi,
have seen a few jobs in Vaud that I am thinking of applying for. Have done the CV but not sure how long or detailed the cover letter "lettre de motivation" should be. One agency site states 3-5 pages, handwritten , whilst other examples I have seen are only one page. Posts are in the nursing/ clinical trials/research field
Any advice.
JO
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Old 18.03.2007, 12:56
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Re: cover letter for CV. how long??

I'm not an HR professional, I don't even work in your field, but anyway: the cover letter is supposed to give a specific reason why you want to join this particular organisation in this particular role, and about what makes you think they should hire you for the job.

From that point of view and bearing in mind someone's going to have to read the letter (plus all the letters in all the other applications they received), 3-5 pages sounds ludicrous to me, I'd go for 1 page at the very most.
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Old 18.03.2007, 15:00
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Re: cover letter for CV. how long??

handwritten means,they will ask a graphologist as well to judge you.....

This may give you some tips

http://www.success-and-career.ch/EN/index.php

Generally one page should be sufficient,in which you state what Fred already has posted in his reply.

If you elaborate too much,the HR person might get bored and put your application aside before even finish reading it.The Beobachter, a swiss consumers instituition (alike your Watchdog or X-Ray in England) has stated in an article in it's magazine that the first 10 seconds of reading an application are the most important.............

I took the liberty of sarching their archive for the article and have translated it for you,please excuse my many mistakes,after all english is not my mother tongue,but i am sure you 'll get an idea what's (roughly) wanted by swiss employers

Good luck with job hunting!
EE
--------------------------------------------
The accompanying letter is nearly just as important to an application as is the CV.
You’ll be more successful if you take good heed of some basic rules. Writers of long messages rob time from the reader and are considered as little efficient.
The main rule therefore: For the accompanying letter to an application for a job, one page must be enough.

Formulated briefly, but spirited contents are better accepted.

In the personal record you’ve placed everything what is important about your professional training, other activities and objectives. A repetition of all this in the individually drawn up accompanying letter would only bore the possible new employer.
“Primarily the motivation should be stated, why one is interested in a place” ,says Prisca BRUCH, chief of Human Resources of the Espace Media Group.
Only to write, “I apply for the job, because I am interested in it
”, is however too poorly.

“Rather than that, one should try, to interest the possible future employer into the increase of value one can offer to the business as new coworkers.”

That shows also that one made his/her homework about the job on offer and has thought the application through before putting it to paper. With many jobs one might have some difficulty to formulate such an increase in value.

Then the tip from Monica Verin, Personal consultant with Swiss Television comes in handy:
“With the draft of the accompanying letter up, one should ask oneself: What do they expect from me? Why am I the correct person for it?”
The own wants and needs should be put to the back for a moment. “Letters with lots of ‹I want› - messages, do not address an employer.”
To structure such a letter usually three sections are sufficient for it:

As an (1) Introduction you explain why you apply for a place and add if possible, why you think the company is interesting to you or in general. Excessive exaggerations and compliments do not help, it should sound honest.
In the 2nd section you describe, your personal motivation why you want to work for THAT enterprise and why you’re convinced, to be the right candidate for that job.

Towards the end (3) the complimentary closing phrase should contain a reference to the fact that you would be pleased about a reaction from them or that you would like to elaborate on your application in a personal interview.
It is wrong, if you place or put in conditions whatsoever. Because under NO circumstances should the impression develop that you’re despairing and absolutely want or need that job that would be counter-productive.
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Old 18.03.2007, 16:45
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Re: cover letter for CV. how long??

Hi,
thanks Fred and eastenders for the info. Now to write it in French, well thats another story .
jo
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Old 28.12.2009, 06:55
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Re: cover letter for CV. how long??

A good covering letter will literally cover any problem areas and complex issues and explain them - thus making the CV more likely to be read.
Covering letters introduce your CV. They are there to induce the reader to go on and read the CV, and to explain away any 'difficult' areas in the CV that might otherwise be off-putting.



They tell the reader why you want the job, why they should interview you, and that you are available. A good covering letter will make the impression that your CV is a good one, and that you are therefore an excellent candidate. It allows you the room to explain anything that isn't obvious, that needs clarification, etc.



If the CV is a sales pitch for yourself, the covering letter is a sales pitch for the CV. The CV is a tool to get you an interview, and the covering letter a tool to get the CV noticed for the right reasons. Preparing a good, personalised covering letter takes time, but it is a worthwhile investment.
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