In one of our articles ‘why do you need a cover letter’, we talked about the benefits of writing a cover letter to accompany your job application. A well-written cover letter for a job could set you apart from your competition and give you a greater chance at being shortlisted. So how do you write a good cover letter, and what would the cover letter’s content look like?
A good cover letter contains four crucial elements:
- Introduction – give an overview of who you are and why you believe you’re a good candidate for the role. It should also express your interest in the position.
- Paragraph 2 – this is where you start to build a case for your ‘fit’ for the role that is consistent with the ‘why’ in your introduction. So give an example to demonstrate how you displayed one of the key skills required for the role. Make sure it is visible on your resume as well.
- Paragraph 3 – give another example to support another one of the key skills required for the role. Make sure it is shown on your resume too.
- Paragraph 4 – close with gratitude and positive outlook, i.e. ‘thank you for considering me for this opportunity, and I look forward to discussing my application further with you.’
Above gives you a structure for a cover letter. A few other tips for writing a good cover letter:
- The key is to keep it simple and concise – get to the point quickly! The last thing employers want to read is a long-winded cover letter with complex sentences and unclear key points.
- Be sure to inject enthusiasm into the cover letter. Try writing the letter with a smile on your face – this will transpire in your choice of words, encouraging you to apply more positivity in the letter.
- The ideal length of a cover letter should be about 1 page with 2-3 sentences in each paragraph.
- Include your contact details. We know that your resume will include your contact details, but it doesn’t hurt to make things easy for the employer to quickly and easily find how to contact you from every page of the application.
- Make sure your cover letter is consistent and coherent with other documents you’re submitting, e.g. the resume. All key skills called out on the cover letter should be emphasised on your resume.
Hopefully by following these key points, writing a good cover letter should no longer be a challenge. Just like everything else in your job application, the cover letter is a reflection of you, so make sure it paints a good picture of you.