Breaking Down the Cover Letter

by Jul 23, 2018

Whenever you’re applying for a job, it’s important you write a tailored cover letter that’s specific to the role you’re applying for. Gone are the days of cookie cutter cover letters that you can trot out every time a new job rolls around – this thing needs to be customised out the wazoo or you’ve got no hope of wowing your (hopefully) future employer.

So how do you write an awesome cover letter?  Well, what you say does differ from job to job, but there are a few key features that a large majority of cover letters should have – so let’s break it down.

(Psst! If you’re after a more detailed guide to writing your cover letter, check out the Resume & Cover Letter Workbook)

Formatting

Formatting is pretty important when it comes to catching an employers’ eye. You want to keep a cover letter to a single-sided page, make sure the font is consistent, and use clear paragraphs. And whatever font you do use, make sure it is very easy to read and not too swishy or curly – oh, and avoid Comic Sans (obvs).

Put your name, address, phone number, and email in the top corner and be sure to include a title line that refers directly to the name of the role you are applying for.

Introduction and body paragraphs

Like a normal letter, cover letters should be addressed to someone – in this case the hiring manager or whoever’s name was on the job ad.

The main bulk of your cover letter is where you talk about yourself, and try convince the hiring manager that you’re not only a great fit for the role but also have a lot to bring to the position.

Here are some questions to help prompt you on the type of information you should be including:

Why do you want to apply?

What relevant experience do you have?

Why are you a good fit?

Why do you want to work for the company?

For the last question, be sure to do your research on the company prior to answering. You want to be able to show that you’re aware of who they are and what they do, and that you’re excited to be involved. Show that you’ve done your homework, and you’ll be well on your way to a god first impression.

Conclusion

To round it all off, be sure to say a big ‘thank you’ for their time and consideration and that you look forward to hearing from them. And, like a normal letter, sign your name at the bottom. Done!

 

If you want more cover letter advice check out this article. Or if you want to talk to someone face-to-face or have them read over it, visit Drop-in with a printed copy and get some professional advice.

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Mia Casey

By Mia Casey

Copywriter

Mia is a Sydney-based copywriter and content creator, who has run the UTS Careers Blog since its conception in 2016.
 
She has experience writing both long and short-form content, as well as across social media, website copy, EDMs, newsletters, and ad hoc marketing content.
 
Her freelance work focuses on branding development and helping companies create a cohesive identity narrative tailored for each of their platforms.
 
She enjoys piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

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