Employers often have many applications to deal with – so make your cover letter work for you. The cover letter is often the first contact between you and a prospective employer. An employer will judge your suitability partly based on this letter.
Your cover letter should cover two key points:
- What you have to offer the organisation
- Why you want to work in this job/position for this organisation, including positive comments about the reputation or performance of the organisation
Treat your application as a marketing document
Your cover letter needs to show your energy, enthusiasm, passion or drive.
It is important that you highlight your:
- Qualities that make you stand out from the crowd
- Skills and abilities. These need to be clearly outlined in order to show how you meet the requirements of the position. Obtaining a job description is important for this task
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Do your research into the organisation
The more informed you are about the organisation and position, the better you can match your skills to those required. Ring the organisation for more information, if necessary.
Need more cover letter help?
Read our cover letter guide “The Cover Letter Demystified”. It provides a model that can be used to respond to advertised positions as well as for unsolicited direct applications.
Read our Cover Letter FAQ for more helpful information.
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Create a cover letter that will help you get a job, giving more detail about why you're suitable for the job you're applying for. You should always send a covering letter with your CV.
Writing a cover letter
- Be neat and tidy: if you’re sending a hard copy of your CV, print your letter on unmarked, white A4 paper.
- Keep it short: ideally just one page.
- Check your spelling and grammar and make sure you’ve got the correct job title and name spelling for the person you’re writing to.
- Be professional, positive and confident.
- Most of your letter should be in full sentences and split into paragraphs. You may wish to use bullet points to list key skills and achievements.
Your letter will probably be the first thing the employer sees, and they may decide whether to read your CV based on it. Write a tailored cover letter for each role or job lead outlining why you’re suited to that particular position.