A cover letter is an essential part of most job applications. It is an opportunity to do a quick sell. It is also an opportunity to show your personality and start the process of getting recruiters to like you. You want recruiters to like you since they are usually choosing who they will be working with.
According to UniCurve, the cover letter needs to be concise and accurate. Any little errors are likely to be noticed and noted. Recruiters will be looking to gather information quickly; they are unlikely to appreciate a long essay. Details can be left for the resume.
How to Write the Main Parts
A cover letter normally starts with the introduction. This is where you very briefly explain the purpose of the letter. It can consist of as little as a header (“Application for …”) and a sentence or two (“I am writing to apply for the position … Please find my resume attached and statements against the selection criteria”).
Qualifications / background
Before getting on to some of the nuanced parts of your job application, you want to establish your credentials. Recruiters might not take your application seriously until they see that you have relevant qualifications and experience.
Two or three short paragraphs should be enough to sum up your qualifications and any relevant job experience. Try to present yourself so you look like a definite prospect who is well suited to the role.
What you bring
You can sell yourself by explaining how you can add value to the organisation you are applying for. Research the company first. You don’t want to be telling the company what they do (they already know this). But you do want to hit the rights points and demonstrate some industry knowledge.
It helps to show a little personality and identify positive points that help you stand out. A strong point that sticks in the employer’s mind may be all that they recall about your application a few days after reading it.
Sign off positively
The sign off to the application should be like the rest of it: short and sweet. Generally speaking, it will up to the employer to contact you next. It is normal to finish with something like “I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome the opportunity to interview for the position … Yours sincerely …”.