In Australia, having a great cover letter is vital. Writing a great cover letter to stand out is your opportunity to grab the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. If you write too much or don’t say enough of the things they want to hear, they may not read your resume.

By following a few simple techniques, you can present a cover letter that will inspire its reader to read on.

A cover letter that addresses the job requirements, and how you fit them, will be highly regarded. If it does these things in a few short paragraphs, it will attract the reader even more.

The Perfect Cover Letter: What’s my motivation?

Recruiters and hiring managers will be on the lookout for applicants who show an interest in the company. If an employee cares about the company, it stands to reason that they will work to the best of their ability. They will do what it takes, to help the company grow. In effect, the ideal employee.

There are many things that might attract you to a company.  You might appreciate their charitable efforts or their dedicated research in a certain area of science that interests you. It could even be something as simple as the fact that you like the co-operative policy of the business, where employees are encouraged to help each other.

As is the case when going for an interview, it’s worth doing some research on the business to find out about it and what they have been doing recently.

Showing an interest in becoming a part of a new project will show attention to detail, and a willingness to be involved in the company’s operations.

The Perfect Cover Letter: One size doesn’t fit all

In your cover letter writing process, customisation and personalisation is key.

If you’ve been sending cover letters for job applications without customising them beforehand, this will hold you back from getting a job. Few jobs within the same industry are exactly the same. You want to make sure you’re showing the exact skillset the job advertisement asks for.

Recruiters and hiring managers will be looking out for keywords when they read cover letters, and if they don’t see them in yours, they’ll stop reading. These keywords will vary from industry to industry, and even from job application to job application. This is why it’s important to read job descriptions thoroughly and identify the keywords you will need to include.

If you respond to a job advertisement that mentions ‘Five years of experience using Microsoft Excel’, not mentioning your experience with this software will inhibit your chances of getting the job.

When you find a job advertisement that interests you, make a note of all the things it asks for. For example, how many years of experience do they want? Do they require specific qualifications or training? Are the responsibilities similar to ones you’ve held in the past?

Compare this list to what you have in your cover letter, and if there’s anything you haven’t mentioned, add it in!

The Perfect Cover Letter: Stick to the specifics

Writing a cover letter is hard! There’s so much that you want to tell a potential employer: that you’re very professional, that you’ve always made friends with clients, that you’re good with computers…

These are all useful skills and talents, but you only have few words to make a great impression, and these are too general.

Saying that you’re ‘good with computers’ is so general and vague that it will actually make the reader think the opposite. If you don’t give specific detail, it looks like you don’t know much about it at all!

Instead, saying ‘Five years of experience using Microsoft Excel to document company financial records’ clearly shows what you can do.

This same idea applies to any career; specific detail will allow the recruiter to plainly see your abilities and how well you suit the advertised position.

Your cover letter should focus on what skills and experience you can bring into the role and organisation. 

The Perfect Cover Letter: Short, simple and professional

Short is good. Short and simple is better! Recruiters and hiring agents will usually be going through between 100-200 applications, so it’s very easy for an application to be discarded if it doesn’t immediately show what they want to see.

To keep things short and simple, you want to follow our previous point – be specific. Give an example of something they have asked for in the job advertisement. Full stop. Move on to the next point!

The Perfect Cover Letter: – Key things to remember:

  • Briefly state your motivation for applying; what interests you about the company.
  • Make sure your cover letter clearly matches the job you’re applying for.
  • Customise your cover letter for every job application – they’ll all be slightly different.
  • You only have a small number of words to interest the reader – make them specific, nothing general or unnecessary.
  • You don’t need to mention everything here – give the main details, include more in your resume.

Career Coaching Seminar For Cover Letter Tips

Five Tips To Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out in 2021

 

How many times have you seen this at the end of the job advertisement?

“To apply, please attach your CV and cover letter”.

In my experience I’d say one in every ten applications is submitted without a cover letter. If you don’t attach a cover letter, there’s a good chance your resume won’t get read. Nearly all hiring managers want to see a cover letter.
Most hiring managers and recruiters will ‘skim’ through your cover letter to check a couple of things like:

a) Can this person write well??Will they be able to prepare reports, briefings and presentations? What about emails to senior staff or clients?
b) Is this person qualified?
c) What experience do they have?
d) Do they have the right skills and attitude?

You can imagine how many applications are submitted for jobs that have the title:

  • Accounting graduate
  • Junior web developer
  • IT Systems Support Officer
  • Graduate Engineer

If you want to get the reader’s attention?- you must make your cover letter stand out.

Here are five quick tips to improve your cover letter.

1. Address your cover letter to the hiring manager.

Never write “Dear Sir/Madam”. This shows that you haven’t done any research! How would you feel if you received a letter that had Dear Sir/Madam? Wouldn’t you prefer?if it was personalised with your first name?

2. One page cover letters.

If your cover letter is more than one page, there’s a good chance it won’t get read and you will miss out on convincing the reader to look at your resume. Keep your cover letter to one page – maximum!

3. Use bullet points.

Imagine having to read big slabs of text? I don’t think you’re motivating the reader if you have long paragraphs and sentences. A good tip is to take a long paragraph and see if you can turn it into 4 – 5 bullet points. Bullet points attract the reader’s eye and make it easier to read!

4. Sell your strengths!

Come up with a list of your strengths that are relevant to the position. Check that these are the same strengths being asked in the job advertisement. The hiring managers or recruiters want to be able to see how your ability and strengths will be able to directly help their organisation.

5. End with impact.

The key purpose of your cover letter is to motivate the reader to read your resume. You want to spark their interest and get them thinking ‘wow this is an amazing cover letter – I can’t wait to read more about this applicant’.

Final thoughts – Tips to improve your cover letter to nail that perfect job

There are literally dozens of tips for your cover letter. These five tips are crucial to your success so please take them on board. Don’t forget that your cover letter is very different to your resume but is equally important. So take the time to perfect it and you will be well on your way to an interview!

 

If you have any questions about finding a job and how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can work towards your goal.

We hope you found these cover letter tips helpful! If you need any further advice please contact us!

Careers Team @ Career Success Australia