How To: Write a Cover Letter

Think of your CV like a fact sheet. Without a little bit of explanation, it doesn’t show people who you really are beyond your work experience, school, and extracurricular activities.

If your CV is a fact sheet about you, then you can think of your cover letter as the actual application for a job.

Focus on how the employer can benefit from you and your skill set, as opposed to focussing on yourself. Use sentences like “I believe *Skill A* could be of great use when working within the team environment that you have at * organization*”.

Look for keywords in the job ad that tell you what kind of person the employer is looking for. Take the ones that apply to you and explain how you have displayed/learned these qualities. For example, if the employer is looking for someone with confidence and who is responsible, explain to them how you are confident and responsible (only if you are of course!) and how you can apply these traits at work.

For your layout, keep it basic, but formal. Be sure to include the employer's name and address.

Key tips for writing your cover letter:

  • is related to the position you are applying for
  • is succinct and to the point – avoid waffling
  • is clear
  • is logical
  • does not just repeat everything in your CV
  • contains correct spelling and grammar
  • is personalized – if you know the name of the person who is hiring, address the letter to them. If you don’t know their name, you can address your letter to “The Hiring Manager”
  • is no longer than one page.
To assist you in creating a cover letter, download our Cover Letter Guide below.