The cover letter is your most important marketing tool. It creates a bridge between your CV and the job requirements.
Cover letter

Key points

  • This is a formal business letter – rules apply!
  • The cover letter needs to include information about your motivation: why do you want to work in this job? …in this organisation?
  • Target this to the job’s requirements – always read the person requirements (the attributes about the ideal candidate)
  • Address all these requirements and give examples for your statements, i.e. don’t just say you’ve got team-working experience – where have you worked in teams?
  • Your examples can come from your studies, work experience, volunteering or interests/society involvement (e.g. being actively engaged in a student society might give you many different examples to chose from).
  • Your claims need to be backed up by your CV; you can refer to a particular work experience in your CV without restating the details.
  • Don’t make any assumptions or expect the employer to assume anything. For example, if you have a French name, this does not mean the employer will interpret this to mean that you speak French fluently.
  • By way of summary/conclusion you could include a brief statement about what you will bring to the employer and your ability to make an immediate contribution to their business (this is what employers call ‘hitting the ground running’).

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