A cover letter is all about making a great first impression and giving your job application the best chance of making progress. A well-written cover letter will encourage a potential employer to read through to your resumé and get in touch to find out more or set up an interview.
We’ve come up with a template to help you get this all down on paper. Use it as your starting point and you’ll be on track to a great cover letter that will get your application noticed.
Remember, this is just a basic outline of the information to include, so make it your own by including skills and experience specific to you.
Think of your cover letter as a pitch – a way to introduce yourself professionally and show the value you could bring to the role you’re applying for. Your resumé is there to document your skills, experience, and achievements, but your cover letter sums these things up in a way that speaks to the job and offers a sense of who you are.
It’s also your chance to show why you’re interested in the particular role, and that you’ve done your research about the company or organisation.
You can tailor the cover letter to you and the job you’re applying for, by explaining:
- why you’re interested in that role
- what the most relevant skills and experience you could bring to it.
“I’m starting out my career in…"
You want to open your cover letter by giving the reader a sense of who you are and why you’re interested in the role.
Alternatively, you could pick an element of the role or field that is exciting and start on that.
Don’t be afraid to vary from the standard opening line by using these first sentences to introduce yourself and your skills in a more personal and unique way.
You might write an opening that explains where you’re at in your career, and where you’re aiming for next. Or perhaps you’d like to emphasise a particular aspect of the job or field of work that appeals to you, and relate it back to the skills or attributes required for the role. For example:
- “I’ve committed myself to building skills in <aspect of the job> and <another aspect > throughout my work as an <your current role>
. Now, I’m ready to take the next step in my career. The <job title> role at <company name> would allow me to contribute my skills to the <team name> team, and in doing so, help <company name> to succeed in <what the company does> .”
- “Providing patient-centred care has grown to become my key focus as I establish my nursing career. I’m passionate about ensuring dignity and respect, and that’s why this role as Graduate Nurse at Smith Hospital appeals so greatly to me.”
has been of interest to me since …"
By showing your genuine interest and enthusiasm in this role and the business, you’re showing the reader why you’re interested and that you’ve done your research.
This is your time to shine with the knowledge you have about the business, what you admire or like and where you think you fit or can help them achieving their business goals.
"I welcome the opportunity…"
This final section of the cover letter should sum up your enthusiasm for the role and how you believe you can make a contribution to both the role and the business. It’s also an opportunity to suggest next steps in the process and thank the reader for their time.
Once you’ve used the template to create your own cover letter, come back to it with fresh eyes and ensure there are no errors or things you’ve missed. Try reading it aloud, or better yet, have someone you trust look over it to give you feedback.
Ultimately, you want to make your cover letter as compelling as possible, to capture the reader’s attention then make them want to get in contact with you. And the best way to do that is to make sure it’s a true reflection of you as a person and what you’ve achieved.
Discover what roles are right for you and the job opportunities available, with our explore careers tool.