Cover letter tips

A cover letter is how you introduce yourself to a prospective employer. It links with the important elements in your resume.

A great cover letter convinces the employer you have something valuable to contribute and it creates a desire for the employer to interview you. It should be no more than one page.

Write a cover letter for jobs you have seen advertised or when you are enquiring about possible jobs, internships work experience or volunteering opportunities.

Opening paragraph

Quickly try to capture the employer's attention by creating a positive first impression. Utilise your research about the company and position.

  • Indicate the job you are applying for and where and when you saw it advertised.
  • Explain why you are genuinely interested in the position/organisation and what you can offer.
  • Indicate if you have had any direct contact with the company/representatives and how this has affected your interest in the position (e.g. did you discover something interesting about the organisation from a representative at a recent career event).


  • Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that identifies your qualifications, skills, interests or knowledge relevant to the position.
  • Provide examples of how you have previously demonstrated or developed your abilities.
  • The last sentence in each paragraph should link back to the role and your suitability for the position.
  • It is okay to use dot points in the body of your letter but provide evidence to back up what you are saying.
  • Use active and enthusiastic language to market your relevant qualifications, skills, experience and achievements.

Closing paragraph

  • Reaffirm your interest in the position.
  • Invite the employer to read your resume and any other attachments. Offer to provide additional information if required.
  • Indicate your desire to attend an interview to discuss the opportunity further.
  • Let the employer know when you will be in contact if you are making a speculative approach and follow up with a call or email.

Get feedback

  • Get someone else to proofread your document. It must not contain errors!
  • Seek feedback on your application from your professional networks before you submit.
  • Book an application check with Jobshop on your campus.


  • Career Guru can help you build a professional cover letter.
  • CareerOne also has some useful templates and resources suited to the Australian job market.
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