How To Write A Cover Letter

There are numerous steps you need to follow when applying for a new job. Not only will you have to update your resume, but often you will also have to write a cover letter for each job you apply for. This article will show you how to write the perfect cover letter for any job application and reveal why this is a crucial aspect of any job application.


What Is A Cover Letter

A cover letter is your way of introducing yourself to employers and allow you to highlight the reasons why you are best suited for the role. Cover letters provide additional information on top of your resume and allow you to elaborate on your experience and credentials related to the open position. Examples include justifying why a certain skill you have listed on your resume would benefit the role or why your personal qualities are a good match for the company.

Why Are They Important?

While you may think that the resume is most important during the job application process, a well-crafted cover letter is shown to improve your odds of landing the job. Cover letters give you the chance to set yourself apart from other applicants. Not all job applications require cover letters, but statistics show that it would benefit you.

83% of recruiters and hiring managers consider cover letters important in the job hiring process.

A survey by ResumeLab revealed that 83% of recruiters and hiring managers consider cover letters important in the job hiring process. Couple this with the fact that only 35% of applicants choose to send a cover letter when it is not considered a requirement and you’ve all of a sudden jumped to the front of the line.

How Long Should A Cover Letter Be?

Keeping your cover letter to a single A4 page is best practice. It doesn’t need to include your life story and having a long drawn out cover letter can often do more harm than good. Who wants to sit down for hours on end and read page after page of applicant cover letters? Be concise and to the point.


How To Write a Cover Letter: Step By Step

How to write a cover letter

Top Of Your Page:

1. Record Your Details

Your first step is to record all your relevant details to the top of the page (header). This should include your full name, phone number, email address and postal address. This demonstrates the professional manner of the letter and provides all the details the hiring manager needs. Your header may look like this:

John Charles Doe

0457075352

johndoe@outlook.com

123 Athena Way

Richmond 3121

2. Find Out Who To Address The Cover Letter To

Address the cover letter to the hiring manager and the company name. The hiring manager and company name should be on separate paragraphs. After this you address the hiring manager specifically.

You should always try to address hiring manager associated with the job by their name. This may be listed on the job description, or it may require some investigating. The personal touch promotes some familiarity and starts you off on the right foot. Don’t use the first name of the hiring manager and only address them using their surnames and their preferred pronouns.

If you can’t seem to find the details, address the cover letter as “Dear Sir or Madam’.  Once you have addressed the hiring manger, include a reference line. This indicates the subject and purpose of the letter.

Hiring Manager

Work From Home Jobs Australia

Dear Mr Green

Re: Admin Position

Body Of The Cover Letter:

3. Introduce Yourself

Now that your cover letter has the relevant details for yourself and the hiring manager, its time to get into the bulk of the cover letter. The first paragraph will set the stage for why you should be hired and is your chance to express your desire for the job opening and highlight why you are the prime candidate. Relate the job position with your relevant experience and interest.

For instance, you may have recently completed your studying and the job you are applying for may be for a graduate position at an engineering firm. Highlight to the hiring manager the hard work you’ve put into your studies and express why the job is the obvious next step. This will show that you are excited and care about the role. Linking this with personal interest can further boost your chances. You could do this by explaining why you decided to study and work in the engineering sector.

If you don’t have relevant experience with the role focus on highlighting how the job interests you. Companies don’t want to hire people who aren’t interested or excited in the role. Even if the job up for grabs is a stopgap in your career you should highlight some interest in the position, even if it is minimal.

4. Highlight Your Strengths and Suitability

How to write a cover letter

Your next step is to convey to the hiring manager why you are the most qualified person for the job. To best do this you need to first research the job description of the open position thoroughly. Look at what the role is asking of you and the duties that you will be carrying out. This allows you to specifically relate to what the job is asking of you and reduces the amount of irrelevant information you may have included.

Once you have selected the most important criteria listed in the job description you need to highlight how your experience and qualifications are linked to them. This could be through highlighting how tasks you completed for your previous job directly or indirectly relate to the criteria. For instance, the frequent customer interactions required for a previous role in the hospitality sector could be used to justify why you would be suited for a customer service job.

This is also you’re chance to boast about what you may have accomplished at previous roles and the qualifications you have gained. This sets you apart from generic applicants and provides hard proof as to why you would have a positive impact in the advertised role. If you are a sales person with a good record highlight your close rate.

Conclusion:

5. Finish On A Good Note

You should conclude your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for their time and ask them to read your resume for a full description of your experience and qualifications.

Try something simple like:

I have attached a copy of my resume that outlines in full my experience and skills. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you

What Not To Include In A Cover Letter

  • Spelling errors – Not only is it not professional, it shows you either have little care for the finer details or don’t know basic literacy.
  • Your salary requirements – This comes across as arrogant and shows you are more interested in the money than the role.
  • Negative comments about previous employers – this gives off bad impressions of you as a future employee.
  • Irrelevant information – hiring managers don’t want to know about every little detail of your life. Just what’s related to the job position.
  • Overly formal or casual language – try to find a nice middle ground between the two.

General Cover Letter Tips

  • Ensure you send the cover letter as a separate attachment, preferably a PDF file or similar. If you are emailing an application don’t type the cover letter into the main body of the email.
  • Have a template cover letter. Cover letters don’t need to be difficult, and you can often use the same template while changing the specific details. You can find a range of templates to use here
  • Use professional fonts such as Arial or Calibri. Make sure it is easy to understand.
  • Use keywords found in the job description throughout your cover letter. This shows you have an understanding of the role and shows you have thoroughly read the job description.

Think you’re ready? Apply for a job here and test your cover writing skills