Why should you write a cover letter?

Nowadays, cover letters are a standard requirement of most job applications, however even if you do not strictly need to write one, you probably still should.

Writing a positive cover letter, that demonstrates your interest in the role, and highlights the ways your skills, experience and characteristics make you the ‘best fit’, will set you apart from the crowd.

What should you include in your cover letter?

Writing a cover letter can be overwhelming, but once you know what you need to incorporate, it can be easier than you think to get started.

Your cover letter should look like a formal business letter and include:

  • Today’s date.
  • The employer’s name and address, remembering that cover letters should be addressed to a specific person if possible, rather than “To whom it may concern” or similar.
  • How you heard about the job, and why you are interested in the role.
  • A brief outline of your key skills and experience, with examples showing how they match the ones required for the position.
  • A request for consideration (usually an interview).
  • An expression of appreciation for taking the time to read the letter, such as “Thank you for taking the time to consider my application”.

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter shouldn’t be too long, usually just a page is sufficient. You can make the most of the little space that you have by ensuring that everything is relevant and the language is simple.

Don’t forget to use first-person and an active-voice to draw attention to positive attributes and achievements, such as “I achieved’, “I successfully completed” etc.

Hints and tips for writing cover letters

  • Remember to proofread your letter to check that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and, if possible, ask a friend or family member to check it as well.
  • Always check that you haven’t left the name of the last employer you contacted in the letter – it’s a more common mistake than you might think.
  • Keep a copy of the cover letter so that you can review what you wrote before an interview.

Key points to remember about writing cover letters

  • A cover letter can accompany your resume or job application. It’s an opportunity to show the employer how you can meet their needs.
  • Match your cover letter to the job description, highlighting the skills and experience that make you perfect for the job and using examples where possible.
  • Make your cover letter easy to read and double-check it for typos and other mistakes before submitting.
  • Job applications can be accompanied by a cover letter that shows your interest in the role and the ways in which your skills and experience make you the ‘best fit’ for the job. It’s a great opportunity to make your application stand out from the crowd!

Hints and tips for writing a resume or CV

  • Remember to proofread your letter to check there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and, if possible, ask a friend or family member to check it as well.
  • Always check that you haven’t left the name of the last employer you contacted in the letter. It’s a more common mistake than you might think.
  • Keep a copy of the cover letter so that you can review what you wrote before an interview.

Looking for more help with your resume and cover letter?

Head into your local Employment Plus office today for more information.