How to write a cover letter
Each job application should be tailored when you’re applying to show you are the right person for this job. To ensure your cover letter/email introduction isn’t ignored go through the job description and underline the keywords used to describe the skills, training and experience required. Search through your own career history for specific examples of how you can demonstrate you have what the employer is looking for.
For example the advertisement might say: "This position requires an outgoing person with demonstrated capacity to work in a team". The keywords here are "outgoing", "demonstrated" and "team". Show you meet these essential criteria to increase your chances of an interview.
A cover letter should not be a summary of your CV. Your cover letter should complement your CV by highlighting the most relevant aspects relating to the position. We suggest making a draft, then when you are satisfied that it reads well ask a friend to review it.
Tips for writing a great cover letter
Make sure it has a clear subject link:
- You must send to a person; NEVER use 'Dear Sir or Madam'
- The job title
- The reference number
- Your name
Keep it on one page
Be clear, focused on the point of the cover letter or email, list skills and experience with examples of why you are the right person for the company.
Never send a standard cover letter. You must show that you can add to the role in a way that another person can't.
Cover letter checklist
- You’ve tailored it to every specific application
- It’s on one page
- Its addressed to a specific individual
- It creates an action plan for specific future contact
- Give it to a friend or someone in your network to review