Writing a Professional Cover Letter

A Cover Letter is a media through which you will establish a personal connection with a potential employer. It is typically the first introduction and therefore it is essential to make a good impression. Sending a well written cover letter with a supportive CV will greatly enhance your application and make a winning impression. Try this 4 Point Strategy to make a winning impression.

1. Opening Paragraph - outline the purpose of the letter. State where you saw the advert, job reference number and job title and your purpose in writing - i.e. that you would like to apply for the position. Many companies have similar jobs and the reference number can be very important to avoid confusion.

2. Briefly outline your current position – Outline your current status and what skills you have that are relevant to the job. Review the candidate requirements of the job description, you do not need to list all your skills that match the requirements in your letter but focus on the essential skills required to do the job. Example, if the job spec requires: "Geophysical Processing" experience, then ensure that you briefly outline your relevant experience in this area. Highlight what you achieved in your previous position that would bring value to the role.

3. Candidate Suitability - Focus on your qualifications, skills and experience relevant to the job. Specify your interest in the Position/Company and highlight your career aspirations in relation to the job.

4. Closing Paragraph - Should be a short note to thank the employer for their time in reading your application. Always end with yours sincerely/yours faithfully and your current contact details should they need to contact you for further details or to set an interview.

Hints for a Good Cover Letter
  • Create a good impression.
  • 1 page max - brief and focused.
  • Only highlight key skills relevant to the position.
  • Make sure you send it to the right place - If it says send to the HR manager, find out who they are and address it to them. This shows initiative.
  • Research the company - it will give you an insight into their business and may be helpful when composing your letter.
Being able to do the job well will not necessarily get you hired. The person who gets hired is often the one who knows the most about how to get hired.

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