Writing Cover Letters for Job Applications

Avoid fatal mistakes with your cover letter when applying for a new role.


Writing Cover Letters for Job Applications

People in your organization will move on from time to time. So, you may be called upon to assist in writing a job application cover letter for a new job. Or you may be thinking of applying for a new job role for yourself. This page outlines some useful tips in writing cover letters that will hit their mark.

  1. Make sure your job application cover letter carefully makes the linkages between your background and the criteria they are looking for. Extract all the stated selection criteria from the advertisement and then make notes on the aspects of your experience and background that meet each criterion. If you are aware of other responsibilities or skills that are generally necessary for professions in that particular industry, you may also wish to add some inferred criteria.
  2. Grab the attention of the reader by highlighting in your opening sentence of the cover letter what it is about the company, the position or the potential opportunities that are appealing to you. In other words, your opening sentence provides an opportunity for you to express in writing the level of your enthusiasm and motivation for the position.
  3. By making an extra effort through research, referencing aspects in your cover letter and discussing how your background applies at a more specific level, you are taking a further step in differentiating yourself.
  4. Make sure you address each criterion with evidence of how you have demonstrated that particular criterion in the past. Ensure you are people results focused in demonstrating your criteria.

The critical action points for you in writing an effective job application cover letter are:

  • be concise
  • avoid jargon
  • address job criteria truthfully
  • focus on evidence
  • proof-read for spelling and grammatical errors

Use these job application cover letter writing tips to help secure an interview for the next job role.

Expert View Author: Pamela Frost

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