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Have you ever wondered on how to write a cover letter? To be honest, this is probably one of the most important steps to land the best job during the search process. By preparing a quality cover letter, you might end up getting as many as job offers to choose and earn decent salary.

The key to prepare and write an effective cover letter is to consider it as a proven sales letter. What exactly do we mean by this? It simply means to think about selling yourself and so you need to make the recipient or reader think about you. By doing this, the person can easily decide if he or she wants you to fill the needed position. Remember that one of the biggest mistakes of people who create this type of letter is they do not focus on how much they need a certain job. To avoid this concern, you must express your desire to convince the employer to give you the position. However, do not go beyond the limit and follow the guidelines for the available job application.

Here are some crucial tips to write a convincing cover letter:

  • Determine your personal traits or qualities

When you prepare to write your own cover letter, be sure to ask yourself about your personal traits or qualities. This is very important to become a perfect candidate for the exact job you want to apply. Understand that every available job or occupation is different and does require the exact set of qualities. You ought to submit a letter that fits the job well and write a different letters for every job opening. Some people find this a tedious strategy, but this is effective in allowing the company or employer determined your traits.

  • Keep it sweet and short

As soon as you determined the exact requirements for the job you want, it is important to keep your cover letter sweet and short. In most cases, the person or reader is going to read many applications during the hiring process. Therefore, you must allow this person to determine the most of what you write and use a complete single page only.

  • Convince the employer or company to hire you

When you learn how to write a cover letter, it needs to sell you personally to the employer or company. Write down about yourself as a good employee, the contribution you can share, and on why your personal qualities make you the perfect applicant. The letter must be in formal tone because you are submitting it to an unknown person. You ought to be interesting to convince the employer or company to hire you.

  • Leave your exact contact information

To finalize or finish the letter, leave your exact contact information and do not forge to thank the person or reader for the time. Likewise, make sure you express your desire to hear from them the soonest for the job you are seeking. Remember that your contact information will play a huge role in landing the job offer effectively because you showed enough interest.

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When readers read an article, they expect to see a pattern of organization.  We can achieve this by arranging the ideas or information contained in our paragraphs in a particular pattern or a logical sequence of thoughts.  Listed below are some of these patterns:

  1. Chronological Order – ideas are arranged in time sequence. This is very useful in explaining or stating a step-by-step procedure or an event. When you use this order, you simply tell what happened first, next and so forth.  You can use transitional expressions such as the ordinals first, second, third….., in the past (future), now, once, since, then finally, etc.
  1. Spatial Order – ideas are arranged according to space relations. You may describe from top to bottom, bottom to top,  left to right, nearest to farthest, or any other arrangement that starts at one specific point and moves on in a specific direction.  You may use transition words such as from, here, inside, in front, next to,  under, over, etc, to show direction.  To add a number of ideas together you can use additionally, also, besides, another, etc.
  1. Order of Importance or climactic order – information are arranged from the least important to the most important or vice versa.   You can start with the less important details, then the more important ones and finally end with the most important.
  1. Comparison and contrast – information are arranged according to similarities and differences between items. You can use transitions words such as likewise, on the other hand, on the contrary, similarly, etc.
  1. General to specific or vice versa – this is the most common way of arranging ideas in logical sequence – from general to specific.  You can start with the topic sentence or the main idea, followed with supporting points.  Or instead of starting with the main point, you can start with specific information first and end your paragraph with the topic sentence.

Once I have mastered this technique,  I realize that I am able to write in a more coherent manner, no more jumbled ideas and every information is arranged in logical sequence.  My paragraphs have unity, that is, all sentences are about the topic. It also contains enough detail to develop the topic, therefore, it is complete.

TIPS:  READ.  If you really want to write, you have to continue reading.  Reading can provide you with lots of knowledge and information to help you write.   Take advantage of the ebooks and ezine that you can read for free on the internet.  WRITE. If you have a journal, write something, write anything, just write.  The more you write, the more you become proficient in your craft.

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How many of you have experienced a day in your life when you feel like your head is bursting with so many ideas?  You feel so excited and ready to go, so you sit down and start writing your thoughts. But where should you begin?

When writing, I always follow a particular pattern: the point – discussion – action pattern. It always helps to organize my thoughts into a coherent, uncluttered manner.  This pattern is useful whether you are writing for publication or writing a speech for public speaking. Let me explain this technique.

  1. The “point” is that part of your work where you introduce the main topic. If you are writing several paragraphs, this corresponds to the first paragraph.  It is always better to introduce one topic or idea per paragraph.
  1. The “discussion” is the following paragraph or paragraphs wherein you provide supporting information about your main topic. You can give as many information as you want to enable your readers to have a clear understanding of the topic you introduced in your first paragraph.
  1. The “action” corresponds to the last paragraph of your article. In this section, you either issue a ‘call to action’, or give a recommendation, or make a very strong summarizing conclusion.  This last section is very important if you want to achieve the purpose of your writing.  It is in this last paragraph where you either challenge or ask your readers to commit an action or reaction to what they have just read.

To illustrate this technique, here is a very short example below:

“Gardening and Exercise: Are they the same?”

I love plants, they’re not only pleasing to the eyes but they also help keep the environment healthy. So I keep a garden around my house.  Gardening not only makes me happy but for me, it’s also a good form of exercise.

I start a garden by clearing the patch of land where I want to plant.  I spend my free time weeding, watering, and cultivating the plants. These activities leave me huffing and sweating from the exertion. Watching the plants grow gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction, so I walk around my garden every day, keeping an eye on which shoot will reveal itself or what bloom will appear soon.

Gardening for me, therefore, is a form of exercise – where you sweat and exert effort doing something that you love.   So if you share the same passion, I encourage you to start a garden now and exercise at the same time!

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Please note that this technique should be used also when writing just one paragraph.  There must be one major sentence and several minor support sentences, each one contributing to control the idea.  Exclude any information which does not belong to the topic.

Till next time when I show you how to organize your ideas!

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The Writing Process

With the advancement in technology, people who love to read, or those who need information for their businesses, interests, professions, etc. no longer need to go to bookstores to buy books or magazines or go to libraries to obtain these information. All they need to do is search online for ebooks and ezines (emagazines)that are now readily available in our computers.

This is the reason why many people want to write for online publication. Aside from becoming famous, they can also earn lots of money writing articles for publication online.

There may be many writers around but one thing is always true: no two writers are exactly alike. Every writer has his/her own unique style of writing. However, they may have different ways of working but I’m sure they all go through the same processes I mentioned below.

1. Pre-writing. Planning must be done before the actual writing. Explore topics first in your mind. Ask why are you writing and who are you writing for. If you are writing for a website, the topic must be related to the content of that website. Choose a topic that is currently creating a “buzz” in social websites or one that will not fade away soon. Whatever topic you decide to write it should be one that interests you so you can put enthusiasm into your work. Readers will know if you are not familiar with the subject you are writing about.

2. Drafting. Get your thoughts into paper. Translate your thoughts into sentences and paragraphs without worrying about spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to write down a word or phrase that I think will be good for my article. It is easier to organize your thoughts when you can actually see them written down. Do an outline and group same ideas together. Start drafting and re-drafting until you come up with a written article that you are happy with.

3. Revising. In this stage, you can change a few words or you can change the whole article and do it all over again. If you have colleagues or friends with whom you can discuss your work with, ask their opinions. Evaluate critically what you have written to make sure it has sense. Evaluate your word choices and provide variety in your sentences. After revising, you now have a more or less finished article.

4. Select a title. This is the tricky part. The title is just like an advertisement. It can make or break your chances of getting published and be noticed by search engines and people who search the websites. I’m sure there are many articles online written about selecting key words or attractive phrases to use for your title.

5. Proofread. Make final corrections in spelling, capitalization, punctuation and grammar. Make sure that line spacing, indentations, margins, etc. are according to the standards used in online publishing.

6. Publish. Do a research if you don’t have yet a list of publishers in mind. When you do your research, find out also the prescribed format of email for article submissions or other requirements that you need to follow. Be sure you include a personalized cover when you submit your article because they receive and sort hundreds of articles a day.
Next, I will give you some tips on how to organize your thoughts. Good luck and get published!