The story on cover letters below is from Seek. It makes some good points about demonstrating why you are right for a job. At Republic Resumes, we write cover letters as a carrot to drive employers to read the resume. They are one of the reasons we have a 65-70 per cent short listing rate.
Employers expect a cover letter and a well-written cover letter can boost your chances of landing an interview.
A cover letter lets you briefly introduce yourself in one page and summarise who you are and why you should be interviewed for the position.
What’s the difference between your cover letter and your resume?
A cover letter and resume are designed to complement each other. While a resume should include detailed information about your educational background and work experience, a cover letter is shorter and sharper. It expresses your interest in the job you’re applying for.
While resumes are best formatted with headers and bullet points, a cover letter is written in the first person (e.g. “I have 5 years of experience working in an administrative role”) and is addressed to the person who is responsible for hiring.
How to write covering letters:
- Start with a brief introduction about yourself and state the purpose for writing. Make sure you mention the job you’re applying for and your motivation for applying.
- Give a snapshot of relevant skills, qualifications and experience that relate to the job description – basically, a few lines summarising the content of your resume.
- If you’ve claimed you have a particular skill, give real life examples.
- Mention that your resume is attached, and then finish with a call-to-action, such as requesting an interview or asking to meet, before signing off ‘yours sincerely’.
How to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd
A cover letter should make the reader go to your resume to read more. It should show the employer that you have the skills to do the job. Target your letter to the specific role you’re applying for.
- Use clear direct language, avoiding overly long sentences or fancy words.
- Tailor the letter to the job and company, and make it clear that it hasn’t been recycled.
- Instead of writing ‘Dear Sir / Madam’, phone the company and find out who is the correct person to address it to.
- Use good spelling and grammar.