A cover letter is your first introduction to a potential employer, so it needs to show that you’re a suitable candidate.
A cover letter is an important document that introduces your resume to potential employers and highlights your suitability for the role. The effort you put into a well-tailored cover letter can go a long way to convincing a prospective employer that you’re a highly motivated candidate, and will help you to stand out in the application process.
A common misconception is that a cover letter is simply a reiteration of the information on your resume. However, the structure and purpose of each document is different. While your resume is a polished summary of what you’re offering, your cover letter is a professional letter that introduces your application and reasons for applying for the job, linking the relevant skills and experience on your resume to the job requirements and organisation.
An effective cover letter demonstrates to a potential employer:
Employers want to hire candidates who are genuinely interested in their job, not just any job. Do your research and explain why the organisation appeals to you.
Focus on the skills and attributes the employer has mentioned in the job advertisement. In your responses to selection criteria, offer short examples of how you have developed or utilised your skills for a positive outcome.
A cover letter should be written using professional language and structured paragraphs. Proofread your letter for spelling and grammatical errors.
The primary emphasis should be on what you could contribute to the organisation, rather than on what you expect from the organisation. For a cover letter to be effective:
A clear, tailored and professional resume is essential for any job application. It should aim to convince an employer that your qualifications, work experience and skillset make you a strong match for the job.
Selection criteria are the skills, knowledge, and experience required to successfully do the job. Learn how to show how well you meet the criteria by writing convincing statements in your job application.