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.