Your cover letter is like a professional sales proposal. Use the cover letter template on this page to support your resume and to demonstrate how your skills, knowledge and experience are the best match for a position.
If you’re applying to a job advertisement, it should be tailored to the requirements contained in the ad.
If you want help to create a cover letter to stand out from the crowd, consider using our professional resume and cover letter writing services.
What to include in a cover letter
A cover letter is a formal business letter, whether you send it as an attachment to a job application or speculatively, via post or email.
If you’re sending it as an attachment or as part of a posted application, always begin your cover letter with your contact information and the date. If sending via email, refer to the reason for your message in the email’s subject line.
Keep it simple. Employers want to see key words to help them decide whether to read your resume. To catch their attention further, you may want to bold important words. Concentrate on two or three key words from the job advertisement. Match your capabilities against each word in a separate bullet point, and give relevant examples of when you have used that skill.
At the end of the cover letter, thank the person for their time and consideration, followed by your signature and/or typed full name. In an email, your contact information would follow your typed name.
- Keep your cover letter brief – no more than a page of content, in at a font at least 10pt.
- Market yourself.
- Cover letters are your first chance to get noticed. Tailor your letter to the exact job on offer and to suit the organisation. This process also makes you think about the job and if it is really the right role for you.
Sample cover letter template – response to a job ad
Address your letter to the name given on the job ad. If a name isn’t supplied, call the company and ask to whom you should address the application.
Organisation / Company
Address the person by name, rather than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ etc
Explain why you are writing. Name the position you are applying for and where you saw it advertised.
Please accept my application for [position] as advertised on [xx].
Explain why you are qualified for the position and what you have to offer. Show how your experience and/or transferable skills make you ideal for the role, using examples to draw parallels between the requirements listed and your proven abilities. Highlight parts of your resume and show how they are relevant to the position. Mention your most important qualifications. Keep the text reader-friendly – do not make it too long, and split out if necessary into paragraphs or lists.
An experienced [profession], I am currently working as [role title] with [company]. I have [number] years’ experience in [profession or work area]. I have a [bachelor/diploma etc] of [study area] from [university], specialising in [study area]. [Provide information relating to the job/company/your situation].
If the job ad lists selection criteria, explain how your skills and experience meet the criteria. If a job asks you to address selection criteria separately, this can go in a separate document.
[Selection Criteria 1 response] etc
Explain why you would like to work for the company, which will show you have researched the company and demonstrate you are interested in them and understand what they do. Describe what you think you would bring to the company.
I am keen to apply my [strengths] to this position at [company name] and believe my knowledge, skills and experience will be an asset in this role.
Provide practical information such as notice period, availability for interview etc.
My resume, outlining my various skills and experience, is attached. I would be pleased to attend an interview to discuss my application and can be contacted at the above address or telephone number to arrange a time.
Thank the recipient for their attention, and specify if you intend to follow up.
Thank you for considering my application, I look forward to hearing from you shortly.