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How to write a cover letter

A well written cover letter can go a long way to convincing a prospective employer that you are the right candidate for their role and can help you stand out in the application process. A common misconception is that a cover letter is a reiteration of the details from your resume. While your resume is a summary of what you have to offer, your cover letter is a professional letter that introduces your application and reasons for applying for the role, linking the relevant skills and experience to the role requirements. Here is our how-to guide with extra tips for success:

Tailor the content and message: 

Do not send the same letter for every job application and, where possible, always personally address the hiring manager in the opening of your cover letter. It is also important to tailor the content specific to the role, explaining why you are interested in working at the organisation and importantly how this will benefit the organisation.

Use keywords and address the selection criteria:

Hiring managers are looking for keywords from the job advertisement to assess whether your resume is suitable.

Use these keywords throughout your cover letter to focus on the skills and attributes you will add  to the role. Respond to selection criteria by providing relevant and short examples from your experience or capabilities to highlight your suitability. 

What makes you special?

Understand what makes you unique and how that best fits with the role. Will your creativity help innovate processes? Do you possess strong problem-solving skills to overcome challenges? Think about how you can potentially solve any problems and challenges that may arise in the role and outline these in your cover letter.

Our top five tips:

  • Keep your cover letter to 1 x A4 page or approximately 300 words
  • Use a professional font that is easy to read
  • Use strong action words, e.g.: “manage, “organise”, “deliver”
  • Include all your contact details
  • Always do a final spell check and proofread

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