Female African student in a yellow cardigan typing on a laptop

How to craft the perfect cover letter.

Did you know that companies can put resumes through computerised systems to scan for the information ie a qualification they’re seeking to fill a role? This helps the companies sort through the many candidates, because let’s face it, there are lots of great people out there to choose from – but also really means you need to focus on including the right information in an engaging way!

Your cover letter is so incredibly important, it’s your first impression and often the piece of writing that will land you that interview, so we’re laying out a few little tips here that will help you stand out from the crowd!

We’ve heard a few questions about cover letters over the years (actually our HR manager, whom I chatted with about this has heard the works), so we might jump into those to start!

Why do I need a cover letter?

A cover letter is your little elevator pitch for the role – this is the time you can highlight your passion, skills, personality, and to demonstrate that you’ve really read the job description!

Cover letters aren’t necessary for all roles – however, they are definitely helpful and more often than not they are requested – so you may as well have the best one of the bunch, right!

Sometimes, you’ll be asked to complete a Selection Criteria, especially if you’re applying for a job with a big organisation – this is a bit of a different story, and we will be chatting about this with you in the next few weeks! But for now, the thing you need to remember is to address every point of the selections criteria – keeping in mind that this will demonstrate your attention to detail.

Does a cover letter need to be long?

One page is generally long enough for your cover letter.  Think of your cover letter as your personal brand. Your elevator pitch.

It should be long enough to communicate why you’re the dream employee but not too long that they feel overwhelmed before they dive into it!

Should a cover letter be generic?

Nope! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, each cover letter should be written for each specific job – obviously, you can write similar things in them (if they’re relevant) but they should be answering the requirements of the job you’re applying for!

This can be helpful, because even if you’re not suited to the job at this point in time – if you stand out enough, they might keep your file on reference for the future and let you know if an opportunity comes up that might suit you and the company better!

Why you should do your research?

This basically shows how in touch with the brand/company that you’re applying for a job with, it shows your interest and diligence. You can connect with the company on Linkedin and you can search their website and socials, check out their about sections – this will also help you decide if you want to work for this company, and obviously if your values align, it’s going to make it a far more enjoyable workplace for you to be a part of!

What should a cover letter include?

  • Your name and contact details – obviously so they can contact you when you nail this cover letter!
  • Their (the brand, company or recruiters) name and address and the person you’re writing the letter to – this is due diligence, showing that you know who you’re writing to, you will usually find this at the bottom of the job description – make sure you address the right person! #FirstImpressionsCount!
  • The date you’re writing this cover letter.
  • Why you’re writing the letter – include the job you’re applying for and grab their attention quickly something like “I’m writing this letter with the intention of expressing my interest in the role of <add job here> for <add company here>.
  • Why you’re perfect for the job – this is where you should shine (in about two paragraphs) You’ll want to let the employer know; Why they should hire you? What skills you have that will help you in this role – if you have examples from your previous work/studies – include them here! You can explain why you’re a fantastic employee and fit for this company and you can include any extra qualifications you have that might help you kick goals in this role!
  • You should express your availability – perhaps your earliest start date (keeping in mind if you have to give notice at your current role, or perhaps even move locations).
  • Sign off your cover letter – with something polite, and your full name.

To simplify this;

  • Keep it short but capture their attention – one page is enough
  • Always tailor your cover letter for the position you’re applying for!
  • Add more value to your CV – back up and highlight all of the amazing things you can bring to the company!
  • Include examples of your work – stats, scenarios, things that will make you stand out!
  • Always proofread – or get someone to double-check it for you, the last thing you want to do is send the wrong cover letter to the wrong company. We also love Grammarly!

Thanks to Deb from UNE Life HQ who has made sure that you’re getting the most up-to-date recipe guide for your CV.

So now you have the checklist of what’s required to create a killer cover letter – what’s stopping you!
Good luck, we’re so excited for your next adventure!