How long should a cover letter be?
Matching your cover letter to the job
1. Find out who to address it to
2. Find out more about the job
3. Find out more about the company
What to include in your cover letter
Your name and contact details
Their name and contact details
The name of the job you're going for
A list of your relevant skills
A summary of why you're right for the job
Speak their language
Ask them to contact you
Your cover letter should finish by asking the employer to read your resume. It should also ask them to contact you about an interview.
Try something simple like, ‘I have attached a copy of my resume. I look forward to hearing from you about this job’.
What you shouldn’t include in your cover letter
There are some things that should never be in your cover letter. Here are some things to watch out for.
Typos or mistakes
Always spellcheck your cover letter. It's even better to get someone else to read it and point out any mistakes or confusing things.
People you could ask to read your cover letter include friends, family members, your careers teacher or a careers counsellor at your university or TAFE.
Double-check everything in your cover letter. If you mention a company's name, make sure you spell it right. If you mention places you've worked before, make sure you spell their names right, too.
Including your whole resume in your cover letter
Don't cut and paste your resume into your cover letter. Try to re-word the information in your resume, rather than just repeating it. Keep your cover letter short and let your resume tell the whole story.
Using ‘I’ too much
Try not to over use phrases like ‘I believe’, ‘I have’ and ‘I am’. Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about how you can help the employer.
Once you've written your letter, read over it, and try to take out or rewrite as many sentences that start with ‘I’ as you can.
Don't mention your other job applications
You're probably applying for more than one job at a time. However, it’s best not to mention other job applications. Your letter should aim to convince the employer that you really want this job.
Even though most employers will assume you're applying for more than one job, you don’t need to mention it.