6 Tips For Writing a Great Cover Letter
Your cover letter can determine whether you get called in for a job interview or not. Read for some tips on writing a professional and memorable one.
Do you tend to skip past writing a cover letter and merely submit your resume alone? Or have you been asked for one with no idea of what it is? These can mean the difference between being successful and unsuccessful in your job application, so it’s important to know how to write one that will help you land the job.
In this article, we’ll show you why a cover letter is important and how to write a memorable one.
What’s the Purpose of a Cover Letter?
Many people treat a cover letter as a re-representation of the information in their resume but it’s important to keep in mind that this is not the case.
Your resume is a summary of your experience and achievements, whereas your cover letter is a professional introduction to your resume and your eligibility for the role by linking the experiences on your resume to the requirements in the job advertisement. Your cover letter should introduce who you are, why you’re a good fit for the role and why you would fit the company’s culture. If your resume’s purpose is to recite your professional experience, your cover letter is to inject your personality into your job application.
What should be in a cover letter?
Your cover letter should include the following:
- An introduction to your employer
- Clear identification of the position you are applying for;
- Some qualities and achievements that make you the best candidate for the position
- A statement or two showing that you have a solid understanding of what the company does and their broader purpose
- If specific questions are asked by the employer in the job advertisement, clear responses with real-life examples
1. Keep it concise
Your cover letter shouldn’t be more than an A4 page. If your cover letter is any longer, it will read as being superfluous and the hiring manager likely won’t read it. Although this is a letter, be careful to stay on topic and make sure your letter doesn’t turn into a conversational version of your resume.
2. Be clear about what job you’re applying for
This can be done by ensuring you address the relevant hiring manager by the correct name and/or title and by spelling their name correctly. You should also be clear about which job you are applying for as businesses may be advertising multiple roles within their business. You can do this by referencing either the job title or vacancy number listed in the job advertisement.
3. Address your skills in depth
If you have claimed you have a particular skill, make sure you provide a real life example. This gives companies an early opportunity to see your worth and what you can do.
4. Check your spelling and grammar
This might seem obvious, but be wary of your grammar and any spelling mistakes. The wrong “their, there or they’re” could make or break your chance at a call up for an interview.
5. Speak their language
Make sure you research the employer you are applying for and use wording within their industry and business. By doing this, you’ll show the employer that you are serious about the job and will go above and beyond to achieve what is required from you.
6. Don’t be generic
Employers can tell when you have done a ‘copy and paste’ job with your cover letter. Make sure you tailor your cover letter according to the employer and the position you’re applying for. If a hiring manager can see that you’ve written things which demonstrate that you have done your research into what they do, your chances of success will be much greater. Overall, you should use your cover letter as a chance to sell yourself, by not only talking about the things you have done, but how you fit what they’re looking for in a broader sense.
Janette is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. She is in her third year of a Bachelor of Laws with the degree of Bachelor of Social Sciences (Major in Criminology) at Macquarie University. She is interested in Migration Law and Access to Justice.