How to write a cover letter
Your CV and cover letter are your rooftop announcement to the job market saying ‘you must employ me, I’m fantastic and I’ll be a great addition to your company’.
If they don’t accurately portray you, your attributes, skills and personality, the chances of you getting the job you really want diminish. This won’t come as a massive surprise to you so it’s imperative to make sure that the first impression you make is one you want to make.
You can imagine how many CVs and cover letters we receive here at Asset Resourcing so if there’s any group of people qualified to know what separates good CVs and cover letters from bad (and sometimes downright shocking) ones, it’s us. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your CV or cover letter, please ask. It’s what we’re here for.
The cover letter
The cover letter introduces you and your CV to your potential employers. It’s the literary equivalent of a firm handshake, eye contact and clean shoes so it’s important to get it right, both in terms of layout and content and making it interesting enough to grab the reader’s attention and make you stand out.
- If applying by mail use high quality white paper and use one font in black ink
- Include your address and contact details as well as the employers address – if known – at the top of the page
- Keep the layout clean and simple. 2-3 paragraphs should be fine and make sure the letter doesn’t exceed one page.
- Check and double check for spelling and grammatical errors and make sure someone else proof reads the letter (and CV) for you
The content of the cover letter is arguably as important as the CV itself. A poorly written cover letter will reflect very unfavourably on your chances of landing the job, regardless of what your CV contains.
- Include the job title and any reference numbers at the top of the letter
- Include where you saw the position advertised as well as any other pertinent information (location, salary, contract terms etc)
- Let you prospective employer know why you are interested in the job and what you can bring to the company
- Draw attention to the most relevant aspects of your career and make strong connections between your skills and the requirements of the employer, being ever mindful of not replicating the details in your CV or application form
- Express confidence in your ability to contribute to the success of the company, and indicate when you are available for interview