How to write an effective cover letter

If a CV shows the nuts and bolts of your employment history and experience, it’s the cover letter that expresses your personality. An effective cover letter can be the difference between securing the role and spending another week job hunting, so here’s a few tips on what to include.

1. Brief explanation

The employer has potentially hundreds of candidates to go through and they don’t want to waste time second-guessing what they’re talking about.

So make sure the very start of your letter makes clear why you’ve written it in the first place. For instance, “I would like to be considered for the role of news reporter at Media Company Limited.”

2. Why you’re the best person for the job

Employers are looking for the best candidate for their company, not just a good employee in general, so you have to tailor your letter to exactly what they’re looking for.

Firstly, mention your qualifications and skills that are most relevant to the post and why they would make you an ideal candidate.

After that, lay out what your short and long-term career goals are and how these aims can be fulfilled within the role you’re applying for. Securing a candidate who stays and develops with the company for years is a jackpot find for employers, so making clear why you’d want to do so would be very appealing to them.

3. Personalise it

Whenever possible, it helps to talk directly to the person you’re writing to. For instance, address the letter to them personally and suggest you’d be happy to meet up for an interview.

Not only do people generally react well to being treated as individuals, but it will show that you’ve bothered to look up the name of the person you’re writing to, which shows how much you care about the position.