A good cover letter lets an employer see a side of you that you cannot get across in your Resume or job application. It also gives you an opportunity to address some of the key requirements of the position, or to showcase extra skills, experience, qualifications or attributes you might have, that make you more competitive for the job.
Not all employers put a high level of importance on cover letters, however it is best practice to include a cover letter with every application you make.
Some important things to consider when writing and structuring a cover letter:
- Employers are known to use cover letters as a preliminary test of your literacy skills. Make sure that the letter is laid out correctly, is neat and free of spelling and grammatical errors
- Be concise and get to the point quickly, some employers may only read the first 2 paragraphs
- Include plenty of white space, don’t make it too wordy. Make your sentences short
- Research the organization and use terminology that is familiar to them
- Avoid using ‘I’ wherever possible
- Highlight what you offer the organisation, don’t talk about the entitlements they off or what you are seeking
- Be succinct, a 3-paragraph letter is good practice
- Close the letter by asking for an interview and be enthusiastic!
- Have another person read your letter and give you feedback
- If you are using a letter as a template, double check all details, organisation name, the addressee’s name etc. getting this wrong could cost you the job
- Include your cover letter as a separate document, unless you are asked to combine it with your resume
- Make sure your contact details are on the letter.