How to write a cover letter

How to write a cover letter in 6 simple steps

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Here’s how most people write cover letters.

Out of ideas. Out of inspiration. And very often out of time and in the soulful hours of the morning , it looks something like this:

how to right a cover letter

 

It fails right?

Why?

  • It is impersonal  (who wants to be called Dear Sir/Madam?)
  • If focuses on the person looking for the job and what they want. To get over the line, this letter needs to have something in it for the hirer.
  • It is generic and vanilla.
  • It is boring
  • It adds nothing extra to what the resume offers.

How to write a cover letter that works

Here’s some tips

  1. Get personal. Never, ever address a letter to “Dear Sir/Madam, or Dear Hiring Manager. If you can’t be bothered doing your research – don’t apply for the job.
  2. Identify what pain will the position remove for someone?
  3. Get their attention using that pain point.
  4. Spark their Interest
  5. Create a desire
  6. Invite them to take action.

And here’s how to do it

So let’s say Amelia Pond (yes that is a Dr Who reference) decides she wants to work at ABC. She has spent some time researching the company, following the news feeds and has discovered that ABC has been planning to expand into Queensland but has so far not had success. It seems that supplier contracts are largely stitched up and no one is interested in a new player. Amelia has called ahead and got the Regional Manager’s contact information. Here’s her new cover letter:

How to write a cover letterBetter?

So now you have no excuse. Stop writing crap cover letters and go out and nail the job.

And just in case you are still wondering if it is worth putting effort into writing a good cover letter, read on.

The people who are looking at your cover letter and resume are busy.

A study on cover letters and resumes (who knew there was such a thing) suggested that your application will get around 6 seconds of attention to decide whether it is worth more attention or not.

So if you have a resume with a cover letter most likely they’ll go straight for the resume.

Does that mean writing a resume is a waste of time?

Absolutely not, according to Brad Houston, Associate Director at seventwenty.

Brad Houston

Brad Houston on how to write a cover letter that gets the job

Brad sees the cover letter as a great place for you to display your passion for the role and to show a bit of your personality. “I like short 2 – 3 paragraphs,” he says.  “Cover a bit of your interest in the role, your passion for this sort of work and your relevant experience. Make sure that you mention the key attributes that you have that line up with what they have asked for. This is the place to make it easy for them to put you through to the next round.”