How to write a cover letter?

WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?

A cover letter is a letter of introduction that highlights your key accomplishments and qualifications for a job opening. A cover letter adds focus to your résumé and should leave the reader with an understanding of the type of position that you are seeking.

Unlike your resume, your cover letter is an opportunity to reveal why you are passionate about the position, and should be used to convey pertinent information not captured in a traditional resume format. Even though much of the job application process is now online, few employers seriously consider a resume that is not accompanied by a cover letter. Don’t treat the cover letter as an afterthought in the application process—make the time investment so that you increase your chances of receiving the coveted interview invitation.

 

  • Tailor each cover letter to the position and employer.
  • Be brief. Get to the point quickly. If it looks like a long read, it will likely be discarded.
  • Identify yourself, leveraging any connection points you may have with the company or reader.
  • Sell yourself! Show your passion and demonstrate your communication skills. Focus on your fit for the position and company, highlighting your 3 major accomplishments.
  • Explain unique circumstances such as employment gaps, career changes, relocations, or re- introduction into the job market.
  • Include your LinkedIn profile and relevant website links as well as your reason for including them in your cover letter, but don’t overdo it.
  • End the letter by requesting an interview or meeting.

COVER LETTER FORMAT

Use the following template to help you write an effective cover letter introduction, main body, and closing.

Your name
Mailing address
City, State, and Postcode
Telephone number(s)
Email address
LinkedIn profile

Today’s date
Addressee’s name
Professional title
Organisation name
Mailing address
City, State, and  Postcode

Dear (First name) (last name),

Introduction:
Begin with a statement that establishes a connection with your reader, such as a headline or a probing question. Briefly state what job you are applying for.

Main body:
The body should be one to two short paragraphs that make relevant points about your qualifications. Do not summarize your resume! Choose some qualifications that really target the position you are interested in, but fight the tendency to oversell at this point. Demonstrate your passion and quickly share any additional information about yourself that could be relevant to the position.

Closing:
Your closing should initiate action by explaining what you will do next (e.g., call the employer) or motivate the reader to contact you to set up an interview. Always close by showing appreciation.

Sincerely yours,
Your signature (handwritten)
Your name (typed)
Enclosure: Resume

Good luck!