Writing a Cover LetterWednesday, 21 March 2012
Today on Let's Get Working we are going to take a look at writing cover letters and why they are so important. To assist you in creating your own cover letter I have included links to sample cover letters at the bottom of this page.
What is a Cover letter?
A cover letter is sent along with your resume to the employer. It allows you to express your interest in a particular job and impress the employer, by highlighting the skills that make you an excellent candidate for the job.
How should I format my cover letter?
- The Length should be no longer than 1 page
- Use an Easy to read font, nothing too fancy or difficult to read
- Your font is not too big or too small. 12pt is a good size.
What should I include in a cover letter?
When writing the body of your cover letter you shouldn't repeat all the information you have listed in your resume. Instead you should be trying to match your skills, experience and education to what the employer is looking for.
A cover letter is broken down into several areas.
- Your contact details
- The date
- The employer's details
- The title of the position you are applying for
- The greeting for the employer
- The body, broken into several paragraphs of information
Your contact details should include your name, your address, your phone number and your emails address.
The employer's details should include their name, their job title (if you know it), the company's name and the company's address.
The greeting should be in the format of dear employer's surname name. When you do not know the surname of the employer, the best greeting to use is Dear Sir/Madam. This will be less successful then using the employer's name, as it shows you didn't put in the effort to find out the employer's name
In the opening paragraph you should introduce yourself to the employer, explain the opportunity you're seeking and express your interest in the position.
In the following paragraphs you should highlight your skills, knowledge and experience that match what the employer is looking for, as well as state how you can use your skills and accomplishments to make a contribution to the company. A list of good keywords to use can be found in the blog - Asessing Yourself.
In addition to impressing the employer with your skills, you can also list any attributes or information about the company that impresses you or that you admire. This shows the employer that cared enough to do your research and you are serious about your application.
The closing paragraph is where you should enthusiastically express your desire for an interview. You should be direct in asking for an interview instead of passively stating that you're available for an interview. Mention your contact details again so they are fresh in the employer's mind and let them know they can contact you should they need further information.
Sample Cover Letter
Cover letters the good and the bad
Seek shows you an example of a good cover letter and a bad cover with helpful tips, so you know what you should and shouldn't do.
Cover letter for my first job
Careerfaqs has a good example for high school students or those applying for their first job
Tertiary level cover letter
The University of Technology Sydney has a good example for those with a tertiary education and some work experience.
Until Next Time,