As much as you may hate the thought of having to write one, your cover letter provides you with the perfect opportunity to summarise specifically what makes you stand out as the number one applicant for the job you are applying for. It is here that you can outline to your potential employer what makes you a great fit for both the role and the company - where you can express your personality and give the hiring manager an idea about you as a real person, not just your skills and expertise. Writing a poor cover letter (or even worse, not writing one at all!) can impact negatively on how your resume is perceived. 

in general, cover letters should:

  • be tailored to be read specifically by the hiring manager advertising the role
  • show that you have read the advertisement carefully, considered it and understand what is required of you as the potential employee 
  • be concise and well structured, clearly linking your experience with the requirements of the position advertised
  • in length, be kept to around 5 paragraphs at most
  • be positive and confident, compelling the reader to look at your resume. Speak the language of the hiring manager
  • provide a call to action prompting the hiring manager to contact you to arrange an interview

how to write a cover letter