How to write a killer cover letter

We asked one of Australia’s leading resume writing services for some tips on how to write a cover letter that works.

Here’s what they had to say:

Cover letters are important. They can make or break an application. In essence, a good cover letter is one that:

  • Makes it clear you meet the job requirements
  • Makes it clear you specifically want THIS job

With these goals in mind, here’s how to write a successful cover letter in 5 steps:

  1. Address your letter correctly
    Do you have the name of the hirer? If not, can you find it? Addressing people by their name and position title is standard business etiquette. It’s something you can do that many others will not.
  2. Make it clear that you meet job requirements
    The easiest way to do this is to reflect the wording of the job advertisement. Don’t parrot the advertisement word-for-word, but pick out the essential requirements and make sure it’s clear that you meet them.
  3. Be specific
    Rather than saying “I have strong skills in Photoshop”, it’s much more convincing to say “I have 3 years’ experience working with Photoshop as an image retoucher at the Sydney Metropolitan newspaper”.
  4. Don’t just focus on yourself
    Your cover letter shouldn’t be a summary of your resume. Make it clear you meet job requirements, but also include points about what the company is looking for. A company needs to know that you have read their advertisement, understand why they’re hiring and are confident you could do well in their team. Include points about the company’s brand, their clients, their market – this let’s the reader know you’ve taken the time to get to know what they do, and that you’d be committed to their goals.
  5. Make it clear that THIS is the job you want
    Even though you’re applying for the job, you need to go further to make it clear you really want it. This seems obvious, but is missed by many candidates. Is the job short-term? Does it pay less than your current role? Is it in a different city?

Whatever the job and its conditions, you need to give compelling reasons why this is specifically what you’re looking for.

Good luck!

If you need help with your job application, you’re welcome to get in touch with us here. One of our friendly resume writers will be very happy to help you.

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