Writing a Professional Cover Letter

Cover letters are important. They’re the first impression you give an employer or recruiter, and they can make or break your chances of getting an interview. Don’t be one of the job seekers who write bland cover letters that don’t stand out. A truly effective cover letter will help you be noticed, get invited to interviews, and ultimately land your dream job. 

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Writing A Cover Letter
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What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one-page document that is submitted alongside your curriculum vitae. It is used as an introduction that briefly summarises who you are, your qualifications, and your skills. This letter opens up an opportunity to explain to a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. These letters can be attached to your application email or display in the email itself.

What should I include in my cover letter?

Your cover letter should include information about why you are qualified for the job and the different skills you bring to the table.

So how do you write an effective cover letter? We’ve got you covered with these four tips!

1. Don’t just tell employers that you’re qualified, show them!

When you write this letter, try to include short examples of the types of projects you’ve worked on in the past. If you don’t have examples handy, create an at-home example of a project that shows your thought process and how you would execute the necessary tasks. Include examples of noteworthy awards you’ve won and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Showcase your successes and show off your skill! 

 2. Keep it short and sweet: you don’t want to overload the recipient with information

Your cover letter is an opportunity for your reader to learn more about you. It should be around 200 to 400 words (one page). The letter should quickly and succinctly communicate the unique value that you can bring to the job. Avoid generic words like “greatness” and “optimism” that show no creativity. Aim to write what you’re all about. Use words and phrases that will make your reader want to know more, such as “unique” or “compelling”. Avoid vague and ambiguous language. Instead, emphasise high-level concepts and use the technical terminology or characteristic idioms of your specific industry. 

3. Think about the employer and their needs when writing the cover letter, not yours!

The first thing to think about is what you can do for the employer. Consider what challenges the company might be facing and how you can solve them, this will indicate that you’ve done your research. Show how you’re uniquely qualified for their vacancy. If you can show why you’re the best person for the job, the company is more likely to want to hire you. Words matter. You control how the employer/recruiter sees you.

4. Personalise your cover letter 

A cover letter that starts with “Dear Sir/Madam” or some other generic greeting will not help you connect with the recipient of your application. Use “To Whom It May Concern” if you don’t know who will be receiving your email. If you do, acknowledge them briefly at the start of the cover letter and refer to them by name in the body of the letter, e.g., “Dear Mr Smith”.

When you don’t know their name, start with a warmer but professional opening. A good option can be something like, “I’m writing to apply for your open position”.

Now that we’ve taken you through the steps on how to write a professional cover letter, let’s summarise the main points: 

  • A cover letter is used to convince prospective employers or recruiters of your competence 
  • Keep it short and to the point (250 to 400 words)
  • Personalise your cover letter 
  • Share your unique skills and capabilities

Read more on how you can make your job applications stand out then find great vacancies on Job Mail!

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 Writing a Professional Cover Letter
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Writing a Professional Cover Letter
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Cover letters are important. They’re the first impression you give an employer or recruiter, and they can make or break your chances of getting an interview. Don’t be one of the job seekers who write bland cover letters that don’t stand out. A truly effective cover letter will help you be noticed, get invited to interviews, and ultimately land your dream job.
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