A cover letter is a single page letter that is included in your job application.
You should always include a cover letter, unless the job announcement clearly states no.
The purpose of a cover letter
When writing a cover letter, you must:
Mention the job (or type of job) you are requesting (or looking for)
show that your skills and experience match the skills and experience needed to do the job
Encourage the reader to read your resume
end with a call to action (for example, request an interview or a meeting).
How long should a cover letter last?
Keep it short. A cover letter should be a summary of your resume, so do not write more than one page.
Match your cover letter with the work
Use a different cover letter for each job you request. Your cover letter must show that you know what
the job entails and what the employer is looking for.
To do this, be specific about your skills and qualities. You must also show how they fit the needs of
the job or organization.
Here are three simple ways to make your cover letter as specific as possible:
1. Find out who to address it to
Try not to address your letter”To whom it may concern” letter. Find out the name of the person who will
read your request. This may require a little effort, but it is worth it.
If you found the job in an ad, it will probably name a person to send the request. If not, call the
employer or the advertiser and ask who to send the request to. The phone is the best, but email them if
you can’t find a contact phone number.
If you discover the person’s name, do not use their name. Use “Mr” or “Ms” and your last name instead.
2. Get more information about the job.
When you find out who your request is for, you can also try to contact that person so you can ask
questions. This can help you match your cover letter (and curriculum vitae) with the work.
You can ask:
Does work involve working as part of a team?
Who would you report if you got the job?
Can you tell me more about the type of person you are looking for?
Is there a job description I can see? (Just ask this if the job advertinsement does not mention a job
Write down the answers to these questions, as they can be used in your cover letter
3. Get more information about the company.
Get more information about the company so you can tailor your cover letter for the job. Here are some
If you know the name of the company, search for information online.
If the company has a website, visit it (especially its “About us” page).
If the company name does not appear in the ad, call the hiring agency or the advertiser and ask who the
What to include in your cover letter
Here is a list of things to include in your cover letter. To see examples of how to include these
things, visit our examples of resumes and cover letter pages.
Your name and contact details.
Put your name and contact information at the top of your cover letter. You do not have to give your
postal address, but you must include your email and telephone number.
Your email address should create a professional impression. Do not use an email address such as
If you don’t have a professional email address, you can do it with a free email provider. Make it
simple: something that includes your first and last name is a good way to do it.
Your name and contact information.
Under your own name and contact details, you must include:
–the name of the person you are writing to
–their position or the name of your company
–their contact information
.If you have trouble finding this information, you can call the company to ask who should direct your
You can also use “To whom it may concern”, but it is best to use this as a last resort.
The name of the job you are looking for
At the beginning of your cover letter, you must indicate what job you are applying for.
You can do this on a line by yourself (for example, “In relation to: Request for the position of the
You can also do it in the opening paragraph (for example, “I am writing to apply for the newly announced
position of Stock Controller”).
A list of your relevant skills
Include a brief summary on how your skills and experiences match the job description. A short bulleted
list is fine.
If you are responding to a job announcement, there may be a job description that lists the essential
skills and experiences. You can also have a list of “desirable” skills and experience. Your cover letter
should respond to all the elements of the “essential” list. You should also respond to as many items as
you can in the “desirable” list.
Remember that if you say you have a skill or experience, you should show how you used it or how you got
it (for example, if you say you have child care skills, mention some jobs where you used them).
A summary of why you’re suitable for the job
After listing your skills and experience, you must explain why this means that you are fit for the job
(for example, ‘My ability to get along with anyone and my experience to solve customer problems in a
retail environment make me ideal for this work . ‘)
Speak their language
Using the same language as people who do a particular job shows that you understand the industry or
field that the employer works in.
Find out what the employer does and how they talk about themselves. Use this language in your cover
For example, if there is a tool or software or skill that requires work, such as machining tools or cash
handling, mention it in your cover letter (but be sure to mention it correctly!).
Read what to investigate before a job interview page to find more ways to research an employer.
Ask them to contact you
Your cover letter should end by asking the employer to read your resume. You should also ask them to
contact you about an interview.
Try something simple like: ‘I have attached a copy of my resume. I hope to hear from you about this
What you should not include in your cover letter
There are some things that should never be in your cover letter. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Typos or mistakes
Always spellcheck your cover letter. It is even better to have someone else read it and point out any
mistakes or confusing things.
People you might ask to read your cover letter include friends, family, your career teacher or a career
advisor at your university or TAFE.
Double-check everything in your cover letter. If you mention the name of a company, be sure to spell it
correctly. If you mention places where you have previously worked, be sure to spell their names
correctly as well.
Including your entire resume in your cover letter
Do not cut and paste your resume in your cover letter. Try to rewrite the information on your resume,
instead of just repeating it. Keep your cover letter brief and let your resume tell the whole story.
Use “I” too much
Try not to use phrases like “I think”, “I have” and “I am”. Remember, it’s not about you, but about how
you can help the employer.
Once you have written your letter, read it and try to get or rewrite as many sentences that start with
“I” as you can.
Don’t mention your other job applications
You are probably applying for more than one job at a time. However, it is better not to mention other
job applications. Your letter should aim to convince the employer that you really want this job.
Although most employers will assume that you are applying for more than one job, you do not need to