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Writing a Covering Letter


Rememberthat each application letter should be individually tailored to the particular company and/or position that you are applying for. Never write a standard letter as employers are attracted to tailored covering letters which reflect your ‘unique’ interest in their company and position.


Suggested structure:

*Address/Salutation/Titles
*Your Name, Address & Contact details (contact details during & outside of business hours)
* Date
* Full addressee contact details - with correct title & correct spelling.

Introduction (1 paragraph)

Include purpose of your letter eg a) what position you are applying for; b) when & where you saw it advertised (if responding to an advertised position).

About you - your educational and work background/s, qualifications, experience (1-3 paras)

Set out your skills and qualifications as they correspond with the essential and desirable selection criteria that are listed for the position. Back up each claim WITH EVIDENCE showing how you have demonstrated or developed these skills by describing briefly the specific jobs or other experiences you have had that have helped you develop the required skills.

This section may take several paragraphs. You might like to use a combination of small paragraph and bullet points for this section of the letter.

What you know about the company/position & why you would be the most suitable person (1 para)

Indicate why you are interested in the position and the organisation. Where possible research the employer on the Internet or in the Careers Resource Centre in the Career Development Office on campus.

Try and show that you have done your research on the job and the company when you describe why you want to work for that particular company. It is the easiest means of reflecting your real interest in the position.

Focus on what the employer will gain from employing you rather than what you will gain from being employed. How can you ‘add value’ to the employer’s company?

Closing Paragraph
Indicate that you have attached your resume (application form, academic transcript etc) and that you would be available for an interview on request. Indicate your enthusiasm in the opportunity in discussing your application at an interview.

*If you are writing to a named person, finish the letter with "Yours sincerely"

*If you are writing to a position eg. Personnel Officer, Manager, use "Yours faithfully"


Checklist:

* Keep to one page
* Proof read your letter SEVERAL times. Get someone else to read it also
* Use good quality white paper (avoid coloured/embossed paper)
* Use CLEAR photocopies for any attachments
* KEEP A COPY of all applications and the corresponding advertisements for future reference
* Never send originals of your documentations (eg academic transcript, certificates etc). Take the originals to the interview
* Staple your application in the top left hand corner of your application
* PROOF READ
* No plastic or spiral folders are necessary, they can actually be a hindrance.

 

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