If you are applying for a job, a cover letter should be sent along with your CV. Cover letters give you the opportunity to introduce yourself and sell yourself. In a cover letter, you can explain to the employer why you are the best candidate for the job. This is accomplished by emphasizing relevant skills and experiences; therefore, you should tailor your cover letter to the position you are applying for.
Cover letters should not be confused with personal statements for your CV. They should complement, not duplicate, it. There has been a general consensus among recruiters that shorter is better when it comes to the length of these documents. A cover letter should not exceed one A4 page and should typically consist of three to five short paragraphs.
Do your research
It is important that you do your research before you write your cover letter. Despite the importance of reading a job description thoroughly, doing so isn’t always enough. To write a successful cover letter you should research the organisation, its culture, and the industry it operates within. If you can learn about their main competitors and their market position this will benefit you when it comes to the interview.
Address it to the right person
Try to get the name and details of the person who’s hiring for the role. this means you’ll be able to personalise your cover letter to them. You’ll need their name and preferred title, for example; Dr, Mr, Mrs, Ms, and their job title.
Whenever possible, address your letter by name. If there is no name on the job advertisement, you can check the company website. You might be able to find a hiring manager, a department head, or the head of human resources. The best way to start your letter is with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ if you cannot find a name.
Make sure you end your letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ if you are writing to someone by name. It is ‘Yours faithfully’ if you address your letter to ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
Cover letters should be structured over three parts: