A cover letter sets the tone of your application. It can orient the reader to the strongest parts of your application and prime the employer to read the resume in a positive light.
The benefits of an effective cover letter can include:
- Giving an excellent impression of yourself, making the potential employer read on through your application.
- Giving the reader immediate insight into the purpose of the correspondence
- Explaining your motivation for applying for the position
- Setting a positive tone for the resume
The following steps provide a structure for developing your cover letter;
- Start with your name and contact details
- Next put name and address of intended recipient and name of the company (the advertisement usually specifies name of individual taking care of applications, use exact wording provided in the advertisement. If the advertisement doesn’t contain contact name, phone or e-mail the company and ask for contact name).
- Date the letter
- Start letter with greeting such as Dear Sir or Dear Mr Wayne (if ad gives this) or Dear Sir/ madam/ to whom it may concern (if don't know contact person).
- Put name and description of the job you are applying for, and reference numbers mentioned in the advertisement and where you saw the job advertised.
- A few snappy statements emphasising why you are the best fit for the position. The first sentence or sentences should demonstrate your knowledge of the company, while following sentences should impress the reader including your credentials for the role and/ or degree of knowledge relevant to the company.
- Add a sentence explaining that you are keen to be interviewed for the position.
- Sign off line such as 'yours sincerely' or 'yours faithfully'
- Write in your signature/ type your name below the signature