Is your cover letter adaptable, relevant, and specific to each position you apply for? Are you writing powerful, evidence-based responses to selection criteria?
The demand for skilled workers in Australia is increasing, with current job market trends indicating that around 90 percent of new jobs are likely to require vocational education and training or a university qualification. Your application documents need to effectively showcase your qualifications and introduce you to employers as a high quality candidate.
We recently discussed showcasing your skills, knowledge, and experience in your resume. But what about your other application documents? Let’s have a look at cover letters and selection criteria.
Your cover letter
Your cover letter is a formal letter of introduction and, similar to your resume, is an active document that needs constant revising and updating to reflect your growing skills and knowledge.
It is tailored purposefully and specifically to each position you apply for and should be given the same time and effort you put into your resume.
Before you begin writing your cover letter, identify what the employer is looking for by carefully reviewing the job advert and reflect how your skills and experiences meet the criteria needed to fulfil the position.
Research the company by accessing their website and speaking to anyone you know who works within the organisation to find out as much as you can, focusing on what you can do for the employer not what the employer can do for you.
Always thoroughly check your cover letter for errors, paying particular attention to spelling, grammar and consistent formatting.
Ensure you follow the application instructions carefully – small mistakes can send you straight to the ‘no’ pile.
Addressing selection criteria
This is your opportunity to summarise your specific knowledge, skills, experience, and attributes required for the position. Read the job advert carefully to ascertain the format for addressing selection criteria. Some employers may ask for it to be addressed within the cover letter while others may request a separate document, often with quite specific guidelines.
Selection criteria can be categorised as essential or desirable. While you need to respond to all essential criteria, don’t be tempted to put less effort into the desirable criteria as this is often important in a competitive environment.
It is important to respond effectively to each selection criteria, making sure your responses fully demonstrate your capabilities to do the job. To increase your chances of being short-listed spend time crafting this document. A well written selection criteria showcases your written communication skills which is a vital component of many roles.
Don’t miss the online Graduate Gateway – Cover Letters & Selection Criteria workshop on Wednesday 23 November. This workshop will give you the knowledge and tools needed to produce professional quality job application documents that will increase your chances of success in today’s competitive job market.
Can’t make it next week? Book a spot anyway and we’ll send you a recording of the session afterwards.