13 July 2020

How To Write A Winning Cover Letter

You’ve written a perfect CV; it’s accurate and up to date, and gives our recruiters an insight into you, your interests, qualifications and professional interests.

Now you need a cover letter. A cover letter is a single-page letter written to the person or company offering the job you're applying for. A well-written cover letter should introduce you and encourage the person reading it to read your resume.

Your cover letter is your opportunity to help recruiters see if your skills and experience match what they are looking for in a candidate. More importantly, a cover letter allows you to clearly tell them why you’re the best candidate for the job. 

How long should a cover letter be?
Keep it short. A cover letter is meant to be a summary of your resume, so don’t write more than one page.

These are our winning tips:

1. Show the company your personality!
Introduce yourself and put the name of the position you are applying for. Using the same language as people who do a particular job shows that you understand the industry or field that the employer works in.

Address the letter directly to the person named in the job ad. Try not to address your letter ‘To whom it may concern’.

If there’s no name, you can use LinkedIn to research and find the name of the relevant person, or go the classic route and call to find out.

2. Share what you love about the company
Mention where you learned about the role, and let us know why you want to work for the company.

Is it their projects? Their values? Their Principles?

You will find this information via the company's website, visit it (especially their ‘About us’ page).
If the company name isn't in the advertisement, call the recruitment agency or advertiser and ask who the employer is.

3. Emphasise your strengths and show off your skills
The next step is to summarise your main skills and experience; specify the most significant and relevant parts which you believe match the job description. Each paragraph should focus on a different aspect. Think of your cover letter as the entrée to your resume. It shouldn’t be so detailed that it replicates what’s contained in your resume, but should give your recruiter an understanding of the skills you may be able to bring to a position.

Outline any general skills you think are relevant to the role, such as communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities and organisational strengths.

4. Always proofread for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
After you have written your cover letter – proofread it. And then proofread again. A cover letter with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes can lead to your application being rejected.

Use dynamic verbs such as ‘collaborated’, ‘motivated’, ‘managed’ and ‘analysed’ to help convey your points. Make sure to edit your cover letter so it’s only one-page long.

5. Finish it off positive and strong
Finally, finish the cover letter by suggesting opportunities for further interaction: for example, indicate your willingness to meet and discuss your experience in more detail. Always finish on a positive note.