CONFIDENCE is returning to the market in Asia as economic reports show signs of a steady recovery.

Couple this with the buoyant outlook painted by labour market forecasts, and it is easy to understand why employees would now see this as a good time to make a job move.

So once the decision has been made, what are the things that you can do to make yourself stand out from others to ensure that your transition is a successful one?

Global career transition company DBM provides some advice on how cover letters, an achievement-based resumé and interview preparation can help job seekers give themselves an edge in a market that people view as full of possibilities.

Letter of application

There is a school of thought that subscribes to the belief that a cover letter is more important than a resumé with regard to securing an interview.

A well-written cover letter can open the door for you to be interviewed by a potential employer.

To write a successful cover letter, be sure to cover the following items before sending it to a potential employer:

* If you are sending your application via e-mail, in the subject field, enter the job title and, if available, the job posting number.

Helping the recruiter sort the day’s mail will make the right first impression.

* Do your homework. Visit the company’s website or call the company switchboard for the proper spelling of the name and title of the person you are addressing. A “To whom it may concern” greeting is not enough in this competitive environment.

* Each cover letter needs to be tailored to the role that the application is accompanying, ensuring that the role’s key criteria and requirements are addressed and clearly matched to your relevant experience.

* Keep letters to one page. Your resumé can be used to illustrate further the specific skills and accomplishments you mention in your cover letter.

* Keep paragraphs to no more than five lines in length. Use bullet points whenever possible to highlight lists and to make the letter more visually appealing and readable.

* Keep your stationery size, colour and texture simple.

* Do not include references. If an employer asks for references at a later stage, you can provide them.

* Always do a spell-check before sending. And have someone else read your letter to check the grammar and style.

* End the letter with the statement that you will call the person in a week or so. You should not expect the person to call you.

While the cover letter should be a positive introduction of your interest in working for the company, make certain that the focus of the cover letter is on how you can help the company achieve its objectives.