An effective cover letter improves your chances to securing an interview – it’s your first chance at making a great impression. Here are some tips to help with writing a great cover letter:
- Make sure you’ve addressed your cover letter to the person responsible for hiring. If you don’t have those details, give the company a
call and find out the name and position of hiring manager.
- If you don’t have access to those details, your best bet is to address it to “The Human Resource Manager”.
- Keep the tone of your letter, professional, warm and enthusiastic
Do your homework
- Let your potential employer know what it is you love about their organisation and why you want to work for them.
- Showing you know a thing or two about the company you’re applying for a job with, goes a long way!
Highlight your best talents and achievements
- Briefly describe some of your talents and skills relevant to the job with an example.
- Let the company know what you can bring to the role and to the organisation and what you hope to achieve.
Don’t forget your transferrable skills
- List any general skills that are relevant to the role you are applying for that are transferrable, for example, “team-player”, “strong written and communication skills”, “interpersonal skills” and “attention to detail”.
- Professionally convey your interest in taking the next step of the application process – the interview
- Thank the employer for taking the time to review your application
- Let them know you’re available by phone or email to discuss your application further.
Now that you’ve got your cover letter done, it’s time to get your resume into shape. Here are some tips to help you create a great resume:
- Make sure that your resume is in a clear, concise and easy to read format.
- Try to avoid elaborate fonts as it distracts the reader – stick with something standard and generic, including font size.
- Use wide margins, headings and bullet points to make it easy to read – remember, most employers will scan your resume rather than read it in-depth.
- Try to keep your resume to three pages maximum – you will lose the interest of your readers if it is anything longer
- As a rule of thumb, provide a detailed summary of your three most recent roles and summarise all previous jobs (role, company, period of employment).
- If you’ve been working for a while, you don’t need to list all your jobs, all the way back to when you first started in high school!
- Try to tailor your CV by summarising your skills and experience, most relevant to the role you are applying for.
- When providing details of your three most recent roles, remember to include one or two key achievements.
- Where possible, try to include your reason for leaving each role as it allows you to be prepared when you are asked this question in your interview – try to keep this to one sentence. Remember to be professional and diplomatic if you have left a role for less than great reasons.
- In addition to your education qualifications, it’s a good idea to include any relevant industry associations that you may be a member of – this demonstrates that you are serious about your career and have an interest in professional development.