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 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
‘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
‘When I knew I was going to be returning to Sydney I contacted PP and was working almost before I had unpacked my suitcases. The PP team somehow always managed to find positions that suited me perfectly, including an ideal permanent position once I had decided to settle. I have found Lisa and Leigh extremely friendly, always professional and unbelievably efficient. For example, when my situation changed recently and I required temporary assignments again, I forwarded my updated CV to Lisa…
‘I have been so blessed to work for your agency, which has truly taken care of myself … Love your work GO PP!!’ Elaine, candidate
‘What an inspiration you are Lisa!! So driven, so successful, so switched on!! Well done you! Thank you doesn’t seem to cut it. But thank you so much for everything. For the first time in my life, I feel I am in such capable hands.’ Jane, candidate ’
‘PP is the best agency on the Northern Beaches – Sydney even!’ Vanessa, candidate
‘Just want to thank you for invaluable help with my resume! I have had 2 interviews and been offered both! I’m sure the resume and cover letter got me the interviews so THANKYOU!!’ Robyn, 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…
‘Fujifilm are proud to have had a close working relationship with Peninsula Personnel as a preferred supplier of both contract (temporary) and permanent employees for more than 18 years. They have worked extremely hard on our behalf to ensure the quality of candidates meet all of our needs and their systems for interviewing, testing and induction ensure that candidates arrive with a full understanding of the standards required of the position they have been recommended for.’ Human Resources, Fu…
‘I am infinitely grateful to you for giving me the opportunity and your support.’ Sebastian, candidate