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Writing effective cover letters

Employers often have many applications to deal with – so make your cover letter work for you. The cover letter is often the first contact between you and a prospective employer. An employer will judge your suitability partly based on this letter.

Your cover letter should cover two key points:

  • What you have to offer the organisation
  • Why you want to work in this job/position for this organisation, including positive comments about the reputation or performance of the organisation

Treat your application as a marketing document

Your cover letter needs to show your energy, enthusiasm, passion or drive.

It is important that you highlight your:

  • Qualities that make you stand out from the crowd
  • Skills and abilities. These need to be clearly outlined in order to show how you meet the requirements of the position. Obtaining a job description is important for this task
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Do your research into the organisation

The more informed you are about the organisation and position, the better you can match your skills to those required. Ring the organisation for more information, if necessary.

Need more cover letter help?

Read our cover letter guide “The Cover Letter Demystified”. It provides a model that can be used to respond to advertised positions as well as for unsolicited direct applications.

Read our Cover Letter FAQ for more helpful information.

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