16 Jan Cover letter tips & a free template to get you started
You’ve found the job. Tick. You’ve finished your resume. Tick. Now it’s time to get started on your cover letter. So what is a cover letter and why should you bother? In this article we explore these questions and get you started with your own free cover letter template.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a clear and concise one pager letter that you send to a potential employer when applying for a job. Its main aim is to highlight your primary skills and achievements and what makes you a great fit for the job and organisation.
Good question! Cover letters are critical in helping hiring managers to get a clear insight into why you’re the best candidate for the job. Often your cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager looks at and without careful consideration can easily leave you out of the running for a job.
What should I put in it?
To make building your cover letter easy we’ve created a template for you to use. You can download this by clicking on the download link below. There is more than one way to express yourself in a cover letter and this template is just one example of how to go about demonstrating you’re the best candidate for the job.
We often suggest starting by filling in your personal details. Remember to triple check that these details are up-to-date and correct. This is also important when it comes to typing in the details of the company or hiring manager that you’re contacting. There is no better way to get off to a bad start than spelling the individuals name wrong or putting the wrong date on the letter.
This also sounds basic, but it’s essential. Make sure that the person reading the letter clearly knows which job you’re applying for. Imagine if they’re currently hiring for 12 different positions and your cover letter doesn’t say clearly which job you’re applying for. That’s a recipe for confusion and your application being disregarded.
Once you’ve done this it’s time to start writing your body paragraphs. In the first paragraph we recommend that you let the reader know why your skills, interests and experience make you an ideal candidate for the job and organisation.
In the next section, this is where we encourage people to highlight using 3 to 4 dot points examples of how their achievements and skills directly reflect what they have requested in the advertisement. Then in the third and final paragraph we recommend creating a simple statement mentioning the job you’re applying for, why your skills are a good fit and an expression of interest in the role.
Guess what? That’s all the information you need from me in order to start writing your own cover letter.
But before you start downloading the template we have one last important concept to consider when writing your cover letter.
Don’t forget to incorporate keywords
Every job application that you read will have a range of phrases, skills or verbs that an employer has put in the advertisement or job description deliberately. These are the keywords that they hope to see authentically mirrored in your cover letter. As more and more companies begin introducing automated job application tools for the first round of applicants it’s really important to make sure that you have listed a least a strong percentage of the key terms that they have listed in the job description. This shows that you represent what they’re looking for.
To make sure that you include enough keywords in your cover letter we recommend downloading or printing the job description and highlighting all of the keywords. Once you’ve done this you can start incorporating the relevant ones into your cover letter.
Now it’s time to get started on your cover letter!
You now have all of the tools you need to get started. Click on the below link to download the cover letter template and we look forward to hearing how you go in creating a strong keyword-optimised cover letter to help support your job search.
Click here to download your Cover Letter – Alex Sample