Like your CV, a cover letter is an essential part of the job hunting process and should be tailored to each role role you apply for.
Cover letters tend to be no longer than half a page and should contain concise information about your skill sets, your suitability for the role and why you would like to work for that particular organisation.
Content and Layout
When writing a cover letter break the main content down into sections. Here is what we recommend:
State the job title of the role you are applying for and give one firm reason about why you should be considered for the role. If you are applying speculatively then clearly state the reason you are getting in touch and mention the organisation by name.
Tell they employer why you are right for the position. Include your qualifications, skill-sets and work experience relevant to the role.
Explain what has attracted you that particular role and organisation.
The second paragraph of your cover letter should contain detail about why you are a good fit for the role. Highlight skills and experience and relate these back to the role you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a runner role in a production house that requires knowledge of editing software, highlight how you have experience in Avid, Final Cut Pro and/or Premiere Pro and mention a project in which you have used this software. This shows that you have knowledge of relevant software and where you have had experience in using it.
Role and organisation
Emphasise what it is about the role and organisation that has attracted you to it. This could be that the company has a good reputation and opportunities for progression. You could also mention one of their projects and why you thought it was successful. This shows you have knowledge of the company and their work.
In the final section include your availability i.e. immediately or from a specific date. If the role has specific shift patterns then you can mention the days and times that you’re available throughout the week.
You want to end this section with a call to action, for example, ‘I hope to hear from you soon’, or, ‘I await your response and look forward to hearing from you.’
A call to action like this adds a sense of obligation to respond.
It is traditional practice to end a formal letter with 'Yours sincerely'. However, if you haven’t addressed it to a specific person then end with 'Yours faithfully'.
Sending your cover letter
Aim to address your cover letter to a specific person. If you have trouble finding the right individual look on LinkedIn or call the company. If you can’t find the right name address the letter to the company itself.
When addressing someone in your cover letter ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey’ is perceived as very informal, so we recommend that you use ‘Dear’.
You would then move into introducing yourself but remember to keep this short and sweet. Confirm what opportunity you are applying to and why you want to be considered.