How to Write a Cover Letter
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a personal introduction, letting you speak to a company to suggest why you are suitable for the positioned advertised. It should include and highlight skills and experience in relation to the job.
The Cover letter should complement the CV- it is the first contact with an employer and ultimately how they decide who to contact for an interview.
Why is it necessary?
Cover letters allow you to give a snapshot to an employer as to why you are the best candidate for a role. The goal is to show how and why you fit the criteria, without having them refer to your CV.
Cover letters allow you to grab the attention from the very beginning.
How long should it be?
It is best to keep a cover letter to a page- 3/5 paragraphs at the most. A survey showed what employers like length wise in a cover letter:
19% – full page
46% – half a page
11% – no preference
24% – preferred shorter
What structure should it have?
First paragraph- why you are writing: who you are: include job applying for and mention objective
Second paragraph- touch on the company- why you want to work there. Show your knowledge and passion for the job/ position.
Third paragraph – highlight relevant skills and experience (as listed in the CV). Summarise strengths you have.
Fourth (final) paragraph- round off the letter, thanking the employer for the time and saying you look forward to hearing from them.
Cover letter tips
- Keep it short and sweet. Cut down flowery language and unnecessary detail. Employers just want to know why you want and how you are suitable for a job.
- Tailor the cover letter- “If you wear many hats… you’ll need to hang up a few of them when applying for sector- specific roles.” It is important to know what to include and what to leave out. Ensure to emphasise the skills and experience relevant to the job.
- Make it unique- don’t use generic terms like “hello, my name is .. and I’m applying for…” as this can be boring. Show them that you put in the time and effort and they’ll appreciate it.
- Keep the language professional- casual towns are ill advised in cover letters. Avoid using colloquialisms, regional slang or awkward jargon to yourself. To ensure a better understanding, use clear and concise terms and try to maintain a formal professional tone throughout.
- Make is fool proof- proofread with an eagle eye. Have someone look over for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Down to basics- remember things like your address, telephone number and email. Exclude things such as age, gender and marital status- these can cause bias.
Examples of some cover letters- for Production jobs. Below are some of the cover letters I looked at for wording and general layout.
Cover letters for Production Assistant positions. (Decorationoption.com, 2016)
Below is my first cover letter attempt. I will update it with my interview with Alec next week.
Decorationoption.com. (2016). Cover Letter Production Assistant Cover Letter Written Template Retail Assistant This Is A Suggestion And An Example For Those Who Want To Write This Is The Easiest Production Assistant Cover Letter Film Production Assistant Resume. Production Assistant Cover Letter Sample. Video Production Cover Letter Examples.. [online] Available at: http://decorationoption.com/this-is-the-easiest-production-assistant-cover-letter/production-assistant-cover-letter-written-template-retail-assistant-this-is-a-suggestion-and-an-example-for-those-who-want-to-write/ [Accessed 20 Dec. 2016].