writing a cover letter
A cover letter is a very important part of your job application. The impact of a well structured resume can be decreased considerably by a poor cover letter, and vice-versa.
The cover letter should show an employer that you have read the advertisement carefully, considered it and understand what is required of you as the potential employee.
In general, cover letters should be:
Concise and well structured, clearly linking your experience with the requirements of the position advertised.
Be no more than a few pages.
Be positive and confident, compelling the reader to look at your resume.
Tailored to the specific position at the organisation.
Constructing your cover letter
A cover letter is your first opportunity to communicate personally to a potential employer.
When possible you should address your letter to a specific person, rather than ‘To Whom It May Concern’ as this will begin to tailor your letter and show that you have made the effort to personalise it. Further tailor the letter by showing your interest in the organisation – which you will have researched before you started writing!
Use the letter to introduce yourself and highlight the key features that will make you effective in the advertised role and set you apart from competing applicants. Briefly address the key criteria - remembering to be concise and to the point and then make a call to action - ask for contact or an interview at the employer’s convenience.
Hints & Tips
The length of your cover letter should be about one A4 page, or two pages maximum
When thinking about language, use strong action words (verbs) such as organised and managed.
Personally address the letter.
Include an introductory paragraph that says your name and the position you are applying for.
Tailor the tone of the letter based on the culture of the organisation.