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 a prospective letter when you are enquiring about possible jobs, internships work experience or volunteering opportunities.
There are a variety of salutations that can be used in a cover letter, which you use depends largely on how much contact information you have been provided with for the role.
- This is a business letter and your contact details including address phone numbers and email should be in the top left hand corner of the letter and then a space followed organisations contact and address.
- If the organisation has provided a contact name then it is important to address the letter to that person or persons ( i.e Dear Mr David Essex).
- If you don't have a name, when possible contact the organisation and ask who they would like the letter addressed to.
- If you are unable to get a contact name only then should you use Dear Sir/Madam
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.
- 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 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.