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Cover Letter Writing
A cover letter is your chance to explain why you are right for the role, with the goal of progressing your application and ideally securing an interview.
Write a great cover letter
A cover letter is your chance to explain why you are right for the role, with the goal of progressing your application and ideally securing an interview. With this in mind, it’s obviously important to write a great cover letter. So what does this look like? Here are a few simple rules to get you started.
1. Always, always write a cover letter
If the space or opportunity to include a cover letter is provided, your first rule is to never skip this step. If you don’t, you are missing a great chance to stand out from other applicants.
2. Tailor your letter to the job
Don’t use the same, standard letter for all your applications, no matter how tempting! It’s easy to spot a non-specific letter, and unfortunately, it gives the impression of laziness. Take the time to make your letter specific to the role, and the organisation.
3. Start strong
Avoid simply duplicating your CV and the job description. Instead, use this chance to outline the link between your skills and experience, and the requirements of the job. You should feel free to let your personality shine through, e.g. “Want to know why you should hire me? I am passionate about knitting, I live it, I breathe it, I dream it and if I could I would eat it. I believe my bubbly personality, combined with my knitting ninja skills will be an excellent fit for the team at Knitting & Knotting.”
4. Do your research
Have a look at the company’s website, news stories and social media feeds to figure out how they conduct their business, what they care about and the challenges they may face in their industry. Tie in your personal experience to make it more relatable. If you’re able to connect with the organisation, then show this, e.g. ‘ As a single parent I understand first-hand the struggle to find good babysitters on short notice. Your online babysitter booking and vetting system has taken all the hassle out of this process and I would love to be part of your inspiring company.’
5. Showcase your problem-solving skills
A lot of tech roles are about problem solving, so where you can, show you have this valuable ability. It doesn’t have to be a specific problem, it could be an industry related problem that you understand and have experience in, e.g. “The baked beans industry in New Zealand is currently facing the same challenge as the lentil industry – the high business cost of food labeling. At lentils-r-us, I drove the process to cut their labeling costs by 50% and believe my experience will benefit the team at bakedbeans-r-us.”
6. Keep it brief
A good cover letter has about three paragraphs, and is definitely no longer than a page. Skip the long lofty introductions, just jump straight in and get them interested in you. They should be able to read it at glance, so keep it persuasive and succinct.
There are plenty of resources out there if you are not sure what to do, and you can find most of your answers on Google. You can also find many cover letter examples on the internet; below is our cover letter template.
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