Okay, let’s be honest – no one looks forward to writing a cover letter. You don’t know where to begin, you’re not entirely sure what to include, you start sweating over what’s enough information and what’s too much information. Out of desperation, you look for examples on the net, do a little copying and pasting, and voila!
Except now it doesn’t sound anything like you. The authenticity is gone, replaced by generic statements like, ‘…an enthusiastic team-player who is hard working…’, which will only cause a hiring manager’s eyes to glaze over…
Applying for numerous jobs, and writing a unique cover letter for each, is time consuming (and exhausting!). But you don’t want to submit a document that sounds like everyone else, or worse, bland and unspecific.
So, first thing’s first – let’s be clear on the purpose of a cover letter.
A cover letter supports the content of your resume. It sort of fills in the blanks, and provides a little more detail. Your cover letter helps to provide more insight into you as a person, which your resume doesn’t really give you the capacity to provide.
Is there a gap in your employment? Here’s your opportunity to elaborate about your overseas travel, which saw you journey across Asia for twelve months, and the numerous and rich experiences you gained as a result. This is a chance to showcase your personality; the employer wants to know about you as a person, not just about your education and work history. You never know, maybe they also took a gap year back in the day and toured around the same spots – it’s a small world after all!
For more handy hints and tips, check out our Cover Letter Workbook on UniHub.
Also, keep an eye out for Graduate Gateway updates – there will be workshops on the various aspects of job applications, including cover letters.