How to write a great cover letter
Covering letters are generally used when responding to a position that has been advertised through the media. You use a covering letter as a way to introduce yourself to the reader.
Your covering letter should complement your resume by highlighting the most relevant aspects from your work history or training, which relates to the position you are applying for.
How to set out your letter
Your covering letter, like any letter, is made up of contact addresses, date, greeting (salutation), subject line, body and closing.
Your letter will include two contact addresses - first your own and then the recipient’s. Your contact details should include your name, postal address, phone number and email if appropriate.
You address your letter to the contact person listed in the job advertisement, including their name, job title, company and address.
Include the date of when you write the letter. Write the date as day, month and year ie. 26 January 2019. The date should be placed a couple of spaces before the recipient's address.
Greeting or salutation
Your greeting should be “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr XXX” and their surname – do not use their first name (i.e. Dear Joe). If the contact person is listed by title and not name, for example “The General Manager”, try to find out their name. If this is not possible, you can use the greeting of “To whom it may concern”.
The subject line is included between the greeting and the body, it is one line summarising the purpose of the letter. The subject line should be in bold at start with “RE:” (for regarding). For example, “RE: Application for XXX position”.
Body of the letter
The body of the letter is made up of five key points:
Finish your letter with “Yours sincerely” a few blank lines (leave enough room for your signature) and then your name.