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
‘I wish every consultant was as lovely and engaging as you!’ Lois, candidate
‘Prior to raising my family I worked fairly consistently with PP over many years and can’t remember a time when I was concerned about not being able to work. Years later I contacted the girls … Five minutes later I had a casual position ready to start the next day. Not only have the girls kept me in constant work in varied and interesting positions but they have been great friends to me on a personal level – always supportive and understanding. I have never registered with another agen… Read more
‘PP is the best agency on the Northern Beaches – Sydney even!’ Vanessa, candidate
‘Roche Products Pty Ltd have been associated with Peninsula Personnel since its inception in March 1995 and are extremely satisfied with the service we have received during this time. Their customer service is friendly and professional, always providing us with quality staff tailored to our requirements. We would not hesitate to recommend their services to other clients and in fact have had a preferred supplier agreement in place with them for a number of years now.’ HR & Sourcing, Roche Produc… Read more
‘Right from the start, and unlike so many other agencies, the team has done their upmost to make me feel welcome, appreciated, informed and most importantly– they have promptly placed me in enjoyable assignments! I first registered my interest online and was swiftly contacted by Lisa with regards to popping into the office for an informal chat and some standard skills testing – after this it was only a matter of days before I found myself in my first role! Being new to the country I ha… Read more
‘Without Peninsula Personnel I wouldn’t be where I am today – and I thank you so much.’ Loretta, candidate
‘I would really like to thank you for all your support over the past five years and for providing such dedicated and professional service. You are the only agency I know of that treats the candidate and the client with equal importance and respect. Thank you for recognising and acknowledging my contribution. I am very grateful to you for ‘keeping me off the streets’ and placing me in such rewarding roles.’ Sharon, 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 will always refer Peninsula Personnel when I get the opportunity. I have to admit I have always had a fairly negative opinion of recruitment agencies from bad past experiences so it was nice to finally have a good experience with one!’ Jane, 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