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How To Write The Perfect Cover Letter

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So, you and a thousand other candidates are applying for the same job. What do you do to stand out from the crowd?

While an eye-catching resume may seem like the solution, remember that people in charge of recruitment usually don’t have the time to pore over hundreds or thousands of resumes they receive for a single role.

Instead, a carefully written cover letter will attract the hiring manager to look further into your background, experience and qualifications and can impress prospective employers enough to want to take the hiring process to the next level.

But what, exactly, is a cover letter? And how do you write a cover letter in Australia or wherever you want a job? In this post, you’ll find the answers to your questions. Our cover letter tips will help you craft the perfect message to bring you one step closer to your dream role.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a concise (about a page or less) message attached to your resume and other application materials to submit to a hiring manager or recruiter.

With a well-crafted cover letter, you can highlight how your talents and expertise align with the position. It gives you a chance to hint to the reviewer that you’re an amiable, one-of-a-kind person who can be an asset to the company.

However, instead of employing their cover letter strategically, most job applicants ramble on and on about what they expect from the job or write dull, clichéd text that essentially just repeats what’s in their résumé.

How to write a cover letter in Australia

If you think you’ve been making mistakes in writing your cover letter in Australia (or wherever you are), then you will find the following helpful practical and easy-to-follow cover letter tips.

1. Customise every cover letter you make

Sure, it’s tempting to use a cover letter that looks much like a form letter, where you only need to change certain information before sending it out.

However, it’s best practice to personalise your cover letters depending on your applying role. This way, it’ll be easier for hiring managers and recruiters to see how eager you are for the role.

2. Include an informative letterhead

Use your name as the focal point of your letterhead, and include crucial information about you, such as your email address and phone number. You can also add your mailing address and links to your online profile, portfolio or website.

By keeping crucial information ready and current, the recruiter or reviewer can easily reach you if they think you’re the right fit or want to schedule an interview.

3. Familiarise yourself with the company

One way of doing this is by checking the company website (especially the ‘about us’ page) or their LinkedIn profile.

Find out the hiring manager’s name and address them directly in your cover letter. You can call the company and ask about the hiring manager’s name. Ensure you get the spelling right.

Begin your cover letter by following this format:

  • Date
  • Name and or position of the person or team the letter is addressed to
  • Company name
  • Complete address of the company
  • Company telephone number
  • Hiring manager’s email address

Next comes the salutation.

Include the hiring manager’s last name in the salutation. It can begin with ‘Mr.’, ‘Ms.’, or a suitable professional title.

Avoid old-fashioned, generic greetings like ‘To Whom It May Concern’ and ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ as those are outdated and will make your cover letter seem impersonal or cold.

4. Hook the reader with an attention-grabbing opening paragraph

Start with a brief, direct introduction.

  • Mention the position you’re interested in, where you found or first heard about it and why you’re enthusiastic about applying for the role.
  • Make your introduction more interesting by injecting a bit of personality or adding a career-related anecdote or highlight.
  • Use the appropriate tone for your industry or speciality. If you’re applying for a job in medicine, law or finance, it would be advisable to make your writing formal.
  • If you got a referral for the job, this is the place where it would be appropriate to mention it. State the full name and position of the one who referred you to the post.

5. Highlight your qualifications and relevant skills

The middle portion of your cover letter should ideally cover everything that makes you an excellent fit for the role. Briefly touch on your achievements, relevant skills, qualifications and work experience. Use bullet points for easy reading.

You’re selling yourself here, so be precise and use terminology that’ll make you stand out, even if the reviewer is just doing a quick scan of your cover letter.

6. Conclude your cover letter with a professional closing

Thank the reader for their time and confirm your availability at the end of your cover letter. End with something simple like, ‘I have attached my CV (or resume) and look forward to speaking with you further about this opportunity’, or something similar.

You can then sign off with any of the following closing salutations followed by a comma:

  • Best regards
  • Best wishes
  • Cordially
  • Kind regards
  • Respectfully
  • Yours sincerely
  • Yours truly

About two spaces after the closing salutation, type your complete name.

7. Proofread and double-check the content and format of your cover letter

How well your CV is composed or written will tell the hiring manager whether it’ll be worth their time to review your resume or CV. So, check your cover letter for spelling and grammatical errors and make the required corrections.

Also, check the document for proper and consistent formatting. Re-read and revise as needed.

You could ask a friend or family member to review your cover letter, as a fresh pair of eyes might spot errors you may have missed.

Now, you’re ready to write your cover letter!

When in doubt, you can always go to a library or check good cover letter examples in Australia that you can use as a guide.

Find your next job with TLH

Whether you’re looking for a long-term or temporary role, TLH Recruitment can help.

We’ve matched hundreds of companies with suitable candidates from the time the owner, founder and managing director of TLH Recruitment, James Marroun, established our company way back in 2009.

Check out our blog for helpful information on market insights, hiring practices, cover letter tips in Australia and many more.

Get in touch with TLH Recruitment today!

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