How to write a cover letter

When applying for a job it is worth adding a cover letter to your CV to introduce yourself to your prospective employer.

A cover letter is a great opportunity to sell your skills and demonstrate your interest in the job opportunity. It is also offers the chance to highlight your achievements and summarise your relevant skills to demonstrate that you would be an ideal candidate for the position.

If you send a cover letter with your CV always create a new, targeted letter for each position.

There are important sections to include in your cover letter. Here are the main sections:

There are important sections to include in your cover letter. Here are the main sections:

Heading and greeting.

Include the date, your name, and your contact information. Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. If you can't find an individual's name, use the job title of the recipient (Maintenance Supervisor, Office Manager), or perhaps "Human Resources" or "Search Committee." Do not address your letter to a business, a department, or "To Whom It May Concern."

Opening and introduction

Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position. Use the first paragraph to express your energy, enthusiasm, skills, education, and work experience that could contribute to the employer's success.


Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer. Briefly summarise your talents, experience, and achievements.

Assertive closing

Thank the person for taking the time to read your letter. Use an appropriate closing, such as “Sincerely.” Tell the employer how you plan to follow-up.

There are different types of cover letters which you could consider:

Invited cover letter

Use this format when responding to an ad or other listing. Describe how your qualifications meet the needs of the position.

Cold-contact cover letter

Use this format to contact employers who have not advertised or published job openings. Research careers to find the requirements for the job you're applying for matching your qualifications with that research.

Referral cover letter

Use this format if you were referred to a job opening through networking, informational interviews, or contact with employers. A referral may be to a specific job opening (advertised or unadvertised) or to an employer who may or may not be hiring now. Make sure you mention the person who referred you.

Job match cover letter

Use this format to match the specific requirements of the job one-to-one with your qualifications, for example "You need 10 years' experience" and "I bring 12 years' experience."