Cover letters give you a chance to explain unique life and career situations not captured by your resume, and highlight what makes you a standout candidate for the job.
Anatomy of a cover letter
Features of a sample cover letter
The focus of this kind of cover letter is to prove you’re able to:
● meet the requirements of the job
● make a positive contribution to the organisation or business.
Key points of this sample letter are that it:
● introduces you to the reader
● responds to the requirements of the job
● attracts the reader’s interest and refers them to your resume
● doesn’t include too many “I» statements, which can disengage readers.
How long should a cover letter be?
Keep it short. A cover letter is meant to be a summary of your resume, so don’t write more than one page.
Matching your cover letter to the job
Use a different cover letter for each job you apply for. Your cover letter needs to show that you know what the job involves, and what the employer is looking for. To do this, be specific about your skills and qualities. You also need to show how they match the needs of the job or the organisation. Here are three simple ways to make your cover letter as specific as possible:
Your name and contact details
Put your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter. You don’t have to give your postal address, but you do need to include your email and phone number. Your email address should create a professional impression. Don’t use an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a professional email address, you can make one with a free email provider. Make it simple – something that includes your first name and your last name is a good way to go.than one page.
Their name and contact details
Under your own name and contact details, you should include:
● the name of the person you’re writing to
● their position or the name of their company
● their contact details.
If you’re having trouble finding this information, you can call the company to ask who you should address your application to.
You can also use ‘To whom it may concern’, but it’s best to only use this as a last resort.
The name of the job you’re going for
At the start of your cover letter you need to say which job you’re applying for.
You can do this on a line by itself (for example, ‘Regarding: Application for Stock Controller position’).
You can also do this in the opening paragraph (for example, ‘I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Stock Controller position’.)
A list of your relevant skills
Include a brief summary about how your skills and experiences match the job description. A short bullet list is fine.
If you’re answering a job advertisement, there may be a position description that lists essential skills and experiences. It may also have a list of ‘desirable’ skills and experience. Your cover letter needs to respond to all of the items on the ‘essential’ list. You should also respond to as many items as you can on the ‘desirable’ list.
Remember that if you say you have a skill or experience, you need to show how you’ve used it or how you got it (for example, if you say you’ve got child-minding skills, mention some jobs where you’ve used them).
A summary of why you’re right for the job
After listing your skills and experience, you should explain why these mean you’re suited to the job (for example, ‘My ability to get along with anyone and my experience in solving customer problems in a retail setting make me ideally suited for this job.’)
Ask them to contact you
Your cover letter should finish by asking the employer to read your resume. It should also ask them to contact you about an interview.
Try something simple like, ‘I have attached a copy of my resume. I look forward to hearing from you about this job’.
What you shouldn’t include in your cover letter
Using ‘I’ too much
Try not to over use phrases like ‘I believe’, ‘I have’ and ‘I am’. Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about how you can help the employer.
Once you’ve written your letter, read over it, and try to take out or rewrite as many sentences that start with ‘I’ as you can.
Typos or mistakes
Always spell check your cover letter. It’s even better to get someone else to read it and point out any mistakes or confusing things.
People you could ask to read your cover letter include friends, family members, your careers teacher or a careers counsellor at your university or TAFE (Technical and Further Education).
Double-check everything in your cover letter. If you mention a company’s name, make sure you spell it right. If you mention places you’ve worked before, make sure you spell their names right, too.
Don’t mention your other job applications
You’re probably applying for more than one job at a time. However, it’s best not to mention other job applications. Your letter should aim to convince the employer that you really want this job.
The best cover letter examples include:
The best cover letter examples include:
● List contact details of the applicant and the employer correctly.
● Show you how to address an employer in the salutation appropriately.
● Provide a substantial introduction that conveys interest and intent.
● Express the job candidate’s personality.
● Are specific about work experience and include measurable achievements.
● Include an invitation for the employer to follow up.
● Show how to sign off professionally.