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IN­CLUDE a tai­lored cover let­ter along with ev­ery re­sume or job ap­pli­ca­tion. Write a neat, fo­cused cover let­ter that en­gages the reader’s in­ter­est and clearly states your in­ter­est in the job. One page should suf­fice. The bulk of the cover let­ter should demon­strate why the com­pany should choose you. This is where you tell them why you are per­fect for the role that has been ad­ver­tised. In the fol­low­ing para­graph, you should ex­plain to the hir­ing man­ager why you want to work for them. Sign off by thank­ing the hir­ing man­ager for their time and with ‘‘ Yours sin­cerely’’ or ‘‘ Kind re­gards’’.

ANNE-MARIE DOLAN HR Leader, Aus­tralian Hu­man Re­sources In­sti­tute

YOUR CV is your op­por­tu­nity to de­tail your knowl­edge, skills and ex­pe­ri­ence as a whole but your cover let­ter is where you can high­light the as­pects which most closely re­late to the role you are ap­ply­ing for. Read the job ad­ver­tise­ment and the po­si­tion de­scrip­tion to iden­tify the key se­lec­tion cri­te­ria and in­clude ref­er­ences to your ex­pe­ri­ence that ap­ply to the cri­te­ria. Keep it brief, if you can, with­out miss­ing out any key points. Keep it in­ter­est­ing and try and draw on any out of the or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ences which are rel­e­vant to the role and that will leave the re­cruiter want­ing to know more about you. COVER let­ters are more con­tentious to­day than they have ever been. They can gen­uinely be a hit and miss af­fair with a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber never be­ing read. Firstly, keep it brief, no more than two-thirds of a page. Se­condly, get to the point. Pro­vide a brief ex­ec­u­tive over­view of your ca­reer to date and in­clude what I call some scope and scale in­for­ma­tion, which helps the reader un­der­stand the com­plex­ity of your pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence. Next, fo­cus on how your skills and ex­pe­ri­ence align to those of the role for which you are ap­ply­ing and try to show, suc­cinctly, one or two key achieve­ments. EN­SURE your cover let­ter is for­mal and per­son­alised to the re­cruit­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion and a per­son. Tai­lor it specif­i­cally to the role and com­pany, if known. Most cover let­ters are best kept short – one page – un­less it is sug­gested they can be longer to in­clude re­sponses to crit­i­cal cri­te­ria or com­pe­ten­cies. The trick is to cap­ture the at­ten­tion of your reader. The let­ter should po­si­tion you strongly for the role on of­fer. High­light key ex­pe­ri­ence, trans­fer­able skills, ca­pa­bil­i­ties and short case ex­am­ples or achieve­ments. And try to get a lit­tle of your per­son­al­ity across.

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