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Cover letters – the how!

October 21, 2021 by Kelly Kendall-Jones

Cover letters – the how!

We recently looked at the purpose of cover letters. So now that we’ve got the why out of the way, let’s get stuck into the how.

As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect! (Sorry, now I’m sounding like your mother). But truly, with a few hints and tips and a little practice, you’ll be belting out well-crafted letters that are uniquely you in no time – okay, they’ll still take some time.

Opening paragraph
How did you find out about the job and why are you interested in the position? This is assuming you’re directly applying for an advertised position. If you’re submitting your resume to flag future opportunities, say what’s attracted you to the organisation. Either way, try to express why you think you’d be a good fit for the role/organisation.

Body paragraph(s)
This section of your letter should outline in more detail your accomplishments, skills and work experience. Try to include specific examples which further highlight your achievements. This is also where you can weave a bit of a narrative around any gaps in your work history or studies. Remember to tie in why you feel you would be the best fit for the role. While you can use dot points in this section, try to keep in more personal by writing in paragraphs and leave the dot points for your resume.

Closing paragraph
Wrap up your letter by again expressing your interest in the role/organisation and why you feel you would be a good fit. You can also mention whether you would prefer to be contacted by phone or email here as well. Try to avoid closing with, ‘I look forward to meeting with you.’ This sounds like you’re making the assumption you’re going to secure an interview. Consider the alternative closing line: ‘I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my suitability of the role with you in more detail.’

For more handy hints and tips, check out our Cover Letter Workbook on UniHub.

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