Cover Letters

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a short one-page letter that accompanies your résumé and any other application documents when:

  • Applying for an advertised job vacancy
  • When writing a cold canvassing application to express interest in a job that may be coming up in the future

How to Present a Cover Letter

Cover letters are usually typed on a Word document. Use the same font style and size as your résumé.

Some employers specifically request a handwritten cover letter. A Handwritten cover letters, should be on unlined white business letter paper. Use a professional business letter format.

Your cover letter must be tailored to the job you are applying for.

Layout and Content

Business letter format for a Cover Letter

Your Name
Your Email
Your Mobile Number
Date of the letter (e.g.,12thFebruary, 20XX)

Name of the person to whom you are writing the letter (whenever possible)

Salutation (e.g., Dear Ms xxxxxxxxx)

Optional Subject line. Identify the position you are applying for. Include the position number if there is one.

Short paragraph that states that you are applying for the position. Add a strong, brief statement highlighting your fit for the job.

Middle paragraphs. Outline your suitability for the job. Briefly say how you meet the employer’s needs. Express your interest in working for the business or organisation. You may wish to include your best selling points for the job as bullet points.

A paragraph indicating any documents that you have included with the cover letter.

A paragraph reiterating your interest in and fit for the job. End with a call to action. Say that you would like to discuss your application at an interview.

Yours sincerely

Your signature

Your name

Follow up after submitting a cold canvassing application. This:

  • Shows the employer you are genuinely interested in a job with the business
  • Puts you in control of your job search. You don't need to wait to hear back from an employer. You are being proactive following up with the employer
  • Gives you an opportunity to connect with employers. You can show your fit for their business and the job you are seeking
Tip: Keep a digital version of your cover letters. You can use old cover letters for ideas on how to write current cover letters.

Other Information on Cover Letters

Some useful resources are:

Sample Cover Letters and Templates

Sample cover letter - responding to an advertised vacancy. pdf format. Microsoft Word format. Rich Text format.

Sample cover letter - cold canvassing/cold calling cover letter. pdf format. Microsoft Word format. Rich Text format.

Myfuture. Read the article A good cover letter is more important than you think.

This includes sample cover letters for:

  • Student
  • Apprentice
  • University graduate
Download the Job Jumpstart workbook on how to write a cover letter. Complete the activities to help you write your cover letter.