Writing a cover letter

Cover letters are great for introducing yourself to an employer. You can use them to give a brief explanation of why you are interested in a particular position, why you’re suitable for the role and why you want to work for that specific employer.

Below are a few tips for writing a successful cover letter.

  1. Choose the right type of cover letter. This depends on whether you are applying for a specific job, inquiring about available positions, seeking assistance with finding a job through networking or using a referral to get your foot in the door.
  2. Make sure your letter is formatted correctly and readable. Remember you are selling yourself. An organized and well-written letter will present you in a good way.
  3. Personalize your letter. Address it to the person in charge of hiring if possible. You may be able to find this information out online or by calling the company.
  4. Tailor the letter. Take the time to write a custom letter for each position you apply for. This may take some time, but it will look better than just a generic letter.
  5. Explain why you are interested in working for the specific company. This shows that you are serious about the job.
  6. Respond to the job advert. Show how your job skills and work experience relate to the position you are applying for. Highlighting on some of what is in your resume can help an employer see that you are qualified.
  7. Add value. Use your cover letter to complement your resume. You don’t need to duplicate your resume. It’s redundant as you’d just be repeating yourself. As in the last tip, highlight on some of the information.
  8. Keep it simple and short, and well-written. Like your resume, you want to keep your cover letter to the point. This makes it more likely that it’ll be read and keep the reader interested.
  9. Use your cover letter to explain any gaps in your employment. This can explain gaps in your resume whether laid off, for personal reasons, going to school, or any reason.
  10. Make sure that you proofread your letter and spell check. Ensure the presentation is excellent. You only get one chance to make a first impression.