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Tips for writing a great cover letter
A cover letter is your first opportunity to attract the attention of a potential employer. See how a good cover letter convinces the reader that you are a serious contender, and that your resume is worth reading.
A winning cover letter is:
Address your letter to the appropriate person, quoting the job title, reference number (if applicable), and where/when you saw the advertisement. Also include the date and your contact details.
A good cover letter uses short sentences, simple language and is concise. It should be between 3-4 paragraphs in length and no longer than one page.
Begin by clearly stating why you are interested in the role/company. Next, demonstrate how your key skills, qualifications and experience can help the business meet its goals. Show how your interests and personal qualities make you the best fit for the job, and close by thanking the reader for considering your application.
A good cover letter is focused on the needs of the employer. It should express how your unique combination of attributes could add real value. Read the job description carefully so that you can match your most relevant skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience to the job description with clear examples to support your statements.
The tone of your cover letter should be professional, friendly and upbeat. You want to demonstrate that you are enthusiastic about the role and have a positive attitude towards the company. Sell yourself and your skills in a positive way.
The quality of your cover letter indicates to employers your attention to detail, ability to communicate and your level of professionalism. Ensure the grammar, punctuation and spelling of your letter is of the highest standard. It’s a good idea to have it proofread by a friend or family member.
Writing a cover letter can be a daunting task when job seeking, but by following these three simple tips you can attract the reader's attention and make a positive impression:
- Keep your cover letter professional, positive and concise
- Tailor your cover letter to both the reader and the organisation
- Emphasise your strengths as a candidate and your suitability for the role