A Cover Letter is more than just an introduction; it shouldn’t be just a cover sheet. The purpose of a Cover Letter is to provide an “argument” as to why you should be given the job over your competitors. It shouldn’t rehash your Résumé, it should demonstrate how your previous experience ensures your candidacy for the position that you are applying for. The best Cover Letters address the criteria provided in the advertisement enabling the hirer to gain a direct understanding of how you would fit in their team, whether your skills are suitable for the role and what motivates you.
Cover letters can be a point of controversy in the Human Resources Industry and due to the subjective nature of the sector, it can often depend on the company and sometimes, even the hirer. The biggest key for determining whether or not a Cover Letter is relevant to your application is by looking at the Job Advertisement. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the advertisement or job application package specifically request a Cover Letter?
- Does the online application provide you with an opportunity to include one?
- Does the ad give you informal selection criteria to address (ie “The successful candidate will have…”)?
If there is provision for you to include a Cover Letter, include it. Don’t pass up an opportunity to put forward your case as to why you should get the job.
Certified Applicants eg Teacher, Manager
- Outcome/achievement based approach to demonstrating capability
- Addresses informal selection criteria
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