How to write a cover letter


Getting Started

When you send a resume, you need to send a short cover letter with it as an introduction, and to grab the reader’s attention. It should be no more than a page long and the structure should contain the following information:


For hard copies, use the same type of paper and font as your resume.

Place the name of the addressee, their title, company name and address in the left hand corner. You should then place your own details in the right hand corner with the date.

Your name should also be entered below “Yours sincerely”. Alternatively, you could put your details top and centre – the same way your details appear on your resume.

If you are sending your resume via email, include the cover letter and resume as one document. If you are going to post or hand deliver your resume put both your resume and cover letter in one envelope (large envelope is recommended). This will make it more convenient for the potential employer.


Paragraph one of your cover letter should state the reason you are writing to this person – Expressing why you are interested in working with their company in the position available.

Paragraph two explains why the company in question should be interested in you. Too many people write about why they want to work for a particular company or land a particular job. Companies want to know why they should hire you.

Paragraph three should be a call to action, namely a meeting or job interview.

A cover letter should use short sentences and simple language. Companies receive hundreds of letters daily so make sure that your letter stands out and is easy to read.

Check and double-check your letter for errors. Make sure you have the recipient’s name and title correct.

Cover letters are essentially sales letters so they must be written for the customer – the prospective employer – and not be based just on what you want. Stress what you can do for the company you would like to work for – not vice versa.

Try to use plain language as much as possible and avoid words that you would personally never use.

Place the date only on hard copy cover letters as emails will have the date included.

Example Cover Letter

Ms Sally Anne,
Human Resources Manager,
SMART Advertising,
North Sydney  NSW 2100

April 22, 2007

Dear Ms Anne.

I was interested to see your advertisement seeking a new account service executive as I have been seeking just such an opportunity and believe my skills and experience would be a good match for SMART Advertising.

Please find my resume enclosed for your perusal. Of particular relevance is the five years I spent in a Melbourne advertising agency working in account service. I have a passion for client service and, as you will see from my resume, a good understanding of the sector I would be working in.

I look forward to having an opportunity to meet with you to further discuss how I can contribute to your team.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith

Note: Leading Edge is a staff placement agency servicing all areas throughout NSW including the surrounding areas of the Hills district, Norwest Business Park, Baulkham Hills, Kellyville, Parramatta, Blacktown, Liverpool, Richmond, Windsor, Ryde, Sydney CBD, Central Coast, Wollongong.