Guide to writing a cover letter

A common mistake job seekers make is spending lots of time on finessing their resumes, only to forget to include a cover letter as part of their application. As a job seeker, you should never neglect to include a cover letter. Your cover letter provides you the perfect opportunity to summarise specifically what makes you stand out to be the number one applicant for the job you are applying for.


Step 1. Personalise your cover letter  


Try to avoid ‘To whom this may concern’. Show your interest in the organisation by taking the time to find out who it is that advertised the role. Usually you can find the hiring manager information either directly listed on the job advertisement (usually down the bottom in the 'contact us to apply' section). If this is left blank, look on the company’s career page or LinkedIn network to ascertain who has advertised the role.


Step 2. Introduce yourself

Often your cover letter is the first interaction the prospective employer will have with you. It is imperative that you introduce yourself to give the employer a sense of who you are and why they should hire you for the role. Highlight your key experience and outline how your skills mirror the requirements listed in the job description and what the employer is looking for. It is here that you highlight what sets you apart from competing applicants so the use of strong action words is recommended to ensure the overall tone of your message is confident.


Step 3. Show that you have taken the time to research the company

One of the best ways to make your job application stand out from the crowd is by researching the business you are applying with, and peppering your cover letter with information that only a person who is familiar with the company would know.


Visit the company website, and Google the latest company news. On the website, look up the careers page to learn what sets them apart as an employer brand. Familiarise yourself with what the company does and how it talks about itself so that you will be able to mention this in your cover letter, and also during your interview.


Step 4: Include a call to action

The last note your cover letter must finish on is a strong call to action, inciting the potential employer to look through your resume and to contact you to arrange an interview date/time. Welcome the chance to meet and discuss the opportunity further by including your mobile number and email address.


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