What is a cover letter?
A cover letter goes before your resume – think of it as the thing that explains the overlap between your resume (all about you) and the job description (all about the role).
Read on for some DOs and DON'Ts of crafting a cover letter.
Cover letter DOs:
- DO keep it one page
- DO find out the name and position of the person you’re writing to
- DO make it clear exactly what job you’re applying for
- DO include at least three paragraphs, explaining:
- Who you are and why you’re interested in the job
- Your best and most relevant qualities, skills and experience
- What you can offer the organisation and why you’d be a great asset
- DO explain how you have to any skills or experiences asked for in the job ad
- DO include your contact details and when you’re available for an interview
- DO end the letter on a positive note and a point of action (e.g. ‘Thanks for consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you about an interview soon.’)
Cover letter DON’Ts:
- DON’T include everything that’s already in your resume
- DON'T use the same cover letter for different job applications
- DON’T list all your past achievements or jobs – pick the best and most relevant
- DON’T send anything with typos or mistakes in it
- DON’T overshare too much information – they don’t need to know what days you can work, that you’re going on holidays later in the year or that you’re applying for other jobs
- DON’T use a quirky email address – firstname.lastname@example.org might be fine with your mates, but a more professional one that includes your full name is more safe for work.