How to prepare a cover letter
There is much debate about whether to include a cover letter with your resume when applying for roles. Some online applications request a cover letter and many recruiters and HR professionals believe a well-written cover letter distinguishes an application and provides a summary of the candidate's suitability.
We recommend that your cover letter be one page with short paragraphs that outline your experience, relevant skills and qualifications, suitability for the role and anything else you believe will assist your application. While you may like to mention your current role or most recent role, or a past role that is highly relevant to the one you are applying for, do not include your entire work history as it will most likely make your cover letter longer than one page; remember, your accompanying resume provides your work history.
We also recommend using an easy-to-read font such as Arial or Calibri in 10, 11 or 12pt and asking a friend to proof read your cover letter to check for spelling and grammar errors. And lastly, don't forget to include your contact details, the date, and the job reference number and/or full title of the advertised role.
Example Cover Letter
Suburb State Postcode
Suburb State Postcode
Dear [name of contact] (address your application to the name provided on the job ad; if a name isn’t offered, call the company and ask whom you should address the application to)
This paragraph should briefly explain who you are and why you are writing to them. Name the position you are applying for and where you saw the position advertised. If the company is advertising more than one position and you omit the position title you’re interested in, they may be unsure of which role you are applying for and not consider your application.
Explain why you are suitable for the position and briefly how your previous experience and skills make you ideal for the role. Mention any relevant qualifications (for example ‘I have just graduated from a Bachelor of Business Administration’) and what you think you could bring to the company. If the job advertisement lists selection criteria, this is your opportunity to explain how your skills and experience meet their criteria.
If a job advertisement requests selection criteria to be addressed separately, create a new document and ensure your written responses to each criteria adhere to any word limits and, if provided, formatting instructions.
Explain why you would like to work for this particular company, showing that you have researched their company and role. Companies want to know you are interested in them and have a solid understanding of what they do and how they do it, which can include their market position, current achievements and challenges and plans for the future. Ensure each prospective employer believes their role is the only one you want, no matter how many you may be applying for.
Lastly, politely request they consider your application and convey your appreciation for the time they have taken to read it. Being polite and enthusiastic will help create an overall good impression.
[Signature] (you should sign your name by hand or insert a scan of your signature)
Print full name
‘Thanks again for your help and being such a great recruitment agency to work with – by far the best I’ve been through! Danielle, candidate
‘You all do a wonderful job and your temp staff all think so highly of the service you provide. Well done girls. I’ll be nominating you for the best business awards next year. I really appreciate the support & friendship you all provide. You are all so lovely to work for.’ Kerrie, candidate
‘I just want to say a BIG thank you to all of you. You went above and beyond trying to find me work and I am so grateful! I was really struggling to find work and your resume and interview tips really helped with my applications and interviews. Peninsula Personnel is truly the best recruitment company I have ever been with.’ One very happily employed Haylee, candidate
‘I wish every consultant was as lovely and engaging as you!’ Lois, candidate
‘I would like to thank your wonderful team for keeping me up to date with roles and always being so friendly and professional … you are a wealth of information and support. I have recommended Peninsula Personnel to some friends as well as businesses that have requested assistance …’ Fiona, candidate
‘I must thank you all at Peninsula Personnel for making my work experience so rewarding, and placing me in the most fabulous companies! Your clients are a testament to you company Lisa, and I cannot rave higher about PP in DY!!!’ Loretta, candidate‘
‘Peninsula Personnel – what can I say – what a great agency to work for. Some 20 years ago I was a client of Peninsula Personnel. Now I am a one of their regular temporaries. The consultants at Peninsula are extremely professional and have a long-standing top client base. They know their employees’ strengths and by doing so they ensure they always match their client’s needs with the best possible candidate for that position. I have only praise for the girls at Peninsula. Thank you Penins… Read more
‘I have been so blessed to work for your agency, which has truly taken care of myself … Love your work GO PP!!’ Elaine, candidate
‘Peninsula Personnel and ITS have a very successful working relationship, spanning over six years. PP always provides a prompt, efficient and cost effective service resulting in a number of excellent quality temporary staff being placed with us. PP have an excellent understanding of what we do, the culture of our company and who can do the job for us. Lisa and her team are straight forward, dedicated and act quickly to our requests. No matter who picks up the phone you know you are going to get … Read more
‘I would like to thank you for your time, persistence and help with all my temporary work and now my new job with Glenda, Alex and Elders … Also thank you for the lovely welcome to the job package. It was so very touching to have received that during the first week. Your company has always done an exceptional job at making us employees feel a part of your team.’ Marla, candidate