Tips on Writing a Successful Cover Letter

A cover letter is a brief letter to be included with your application and is generally the first thing a potential employer will see. Always send a cover letter unless they say not to.

When writing a cover letter, you should:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Mention the job (or kind of job) you are applying for
  • Show that your skills and experience match those needed to do the job and encourage the reader to read your resume by saying that your skills and experience are outlined in more detail in your resume along with your Referees
  • Keep it short. A cover letter is a summary of your Resume so keep it to one page
  • If applying for several jobs use a different letter for each job. The cover letter needs to be specific to the job being applied for
  • To do this, be specific about your skills and qualities. You also need to show how they match the needs of the job or the organisation
  • Finish with a call to action (for example, asking for an interview to discuss the position in more detail)

How to make your cover letter job specific:

Find out who to address it to – rather than use “to Whom it May Concern” try to find out who will be reading the application if possible. They will know that you have gone to some effort to find this out. If you found the job vacancy in an advertisement or online, it will probably name the person to send it to. Always address the letter to “Mr or Ms”

What to include in your cover letter:

  • Your name and contact details – these details go at the top of your cover letter. You will need to include your email and phone number
  • Your email address should create a professional impression when job searching. Do not use an email addresses that sound immature
  • Their name and contact details- under your own name and contact details, you should include:
    • the name of the person you are writing to
    • their position or the name of their company
    • their contact details.
    • the name of the job you are going for
    • At the start of your cover letter, you need to say which job you are applying for.
    • You can also do this in the opening paragraph (for example, ‘I am writing to apply for the recently advertised Apprentice Electrician position’.)
    • A list of your relevant skills – include a brief summary about how your skills and experiences match the job description. A short bullet list is fine.
    • When applying for advertised positions there will be a job description that lists the skills and experience required for the position. It may a list of skills desirable but not necessary. Make sure you cover all the skills and experience on the essential list and as many as possible on the desirable list.
    • If you say that you have skills or experience give them some examples of where you have used them
    • After you have listed your skills and experience use examples of why your best suited for the job like your ability to solve problems, work as part of a team and so on.
    • The cover letter should conclude by suggesting they read your resume for more details on you and say you are looking forward to meeting with them.

For tips on how to write successful job application, head to Tips on Writing a Successful Job Application

Free cover letter template

To make sure you are on the right path of writing your cover letter, we have created two cover letter templates for you to use. These include both experienced and non experienced workers.

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