Career Tools
Career Tools

Cover Letters

Cover Letters

What are they? A cover letter introduces you to a prospective employer, it tells them why you are the best person for this job. So what should it contain?

Tips for what to include:
  • The job title you are applying for
  • How you found out about the job
  • States your interest in the job
  • Overview of how you meet the criteria through your qualifications, skills and experience, refer to your attached resume
  • Your interest in the organisation
  • Your availability for an interview

Tips for writing cover letters:

  • Make sure it is addressed correctly and dated
  • Use formal greetings, don’t use given names ie say “Dear Ms Jenkins”, not “Dear Suzi”
  • Make sure you identify the name of the job you want correctly
  • Make sure you include your name and contact details including your email address
  • Ensure that you thoroughly check your spelling and get someone else to proof read your letter.
  • Keep it short, no more than two pages
  • Type your letter
  • Write a new cover letter to match every job you apply for
  • Keep a copy

Tips for sending your cover letter and application

  • Make sure your letter arrives before the closing date
  • If you mail your cover letter and resume, mail it in an A4 envelope without folding
  • If you are emailing, send your letter and resume as attachments
  • Do not send original documents

Online Applications

Online applications are an increasingly common requirement but can lead to high stress levels. People can often feel isolated and uncertain that there application is successfully submitted with sometimes little feedback through the process.

Here are some tips which might assist you in the process:

  • First do some thorough research of the employer's website.
  • Do a hard copy draft before applying online to check the formatting, appearance, and content.
  • Keywords are crucial to allow scanning of your application. Try to use similar wording to the selection criteria. You might like to search online (e.g. myfuture action words[? New link] or to google keyword applications and resumes).
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute as some websites experiencing high traffic can experience delays and close off applications still on time.
  • Be careful about linking personal web content such as social media. Select only online content displaying positive work relevant attributes.
  • Check if the organisation you are applying to has guides for applying online, including technical requirements, document format.