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How to write a cover letter with the ‘wow’ factor

A good cover letter is the key to making a positive first impression.

It works with your resume as a marketing tool to ‘sell you’ to a potential employer and show them why you’re the best person for the job. If you don't include it there's about a 99% chance you'll end up in the 'no' pile.

1. Contact information

Your name, email address, mobile number and postal address goes at the top of the page.

2. Their information

The name of the business, hiring manager, and the business address goes next. Include the date as well just above this.

3. Have a reference line

Companies can have many jobs open at the one time, so have a 'reference' line (e.g. 'application for the position of Sales Assistant'). If a reference number is supplied in the job ad make sure you quote it.

4. Address the reader directly

Don't use 'To whom it may concern' or 'Dear Sir/Madam' if you can help it. Address the reader (e.g. Dear Ms. Harrison)

5. Opening statement

Keep it brief and to the point. Introduce yourself to the reader and state why you should be picked for the job. For example:

"I am an experienced and motivated sales professional and wish to apply for the advertised position of Sales Assistant with Example Company and Associates."


6. Main body

This is where you summarise your skills relevant to the position. Sell yourself, don't be shy! For example:

"I have enclosed my CV which highlights my skills relevant to this position, including:

- Experience: I have 3 years experience in online and telephone sales for companies in the manufacturing and telecommunications industries.

Achievements: I have a consistently achieved excellent results in my career, meeting KPI's and delivering excellent customer service.

- Skills/Qualifications: I have a Certificate II in Business Administration and have developed my skills in Microsoft Office, customer complaints handling and database administration."

 

7. General skills and your interest in the company

Match your skills directly to the job and mention the companies' name. It shows your interest in the company. For example:

"My previous employers have commended me for my ability to work productively in both team and individual environments, and my attention to detail and customer service skills. I love learning new things and challenging myself, and believe Example Company and Associates will be a great fit for my skills and experience."

8. Call to action

Finish off by saying you look forward to meeting them to discuss the position further and state that you would like to meet them in person to discuss the application. For example:

"I would enjoy having the opportunity to discuss this position with you and believe that I have much to offer Example Company and Associates. I am keen to develop my professional skills and look forward to discussing my application with you at an interview."

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Having a cover letter shows your enthusiasm and desire to prove to the employer how suitable you are for the position.


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