How to Write a Cover Letter for New Zealand Employers
A cover letter is a single-page A4 letter addressed to the person who advertised the position. It will be your personalised first point of contact with employers to get them interested in your CV and interviewing you.
Keep reading to learn how to write an effective Cover Letter for New Zealand, and don't miss our Job Search Coach's video at the end.
Your cover letter can be a powerful tool sent with your CV to clearly state what you can offer to your potential employer. Its content should show:
- Your skills and experience relevant to the ones required by the job offer
- Why you are interested in the role
- Examples of how you can transfer and apply your skillset from previous roles
When writing your cover letter, here are five key steps to keep in mind:
1. Address the letter to the right person
- Begin by addressing the person (first name) that will read your application, avoid addressing your cover letter with a generic "Dear Sir or Madam”.
- If you don't know their name, you can always contact the organisation and find out who the person is.
2. Mention where you found the offer
- Make sure to specify where you found the employment offer (LinkedIn, Seek, Trade Me) if there was one.
- Otherwise, let the person know if you are presenting yourself to be considered for a position in the future.
3. Research the organisation
- When writing a cover letter, you need to present your skills and experience to show that you are the ideal candidate for the advertised role.
- It is important to know about the organisation you want to work for, look at their website, media profiles, employee reviews and any news or articles. Mention something about their industry, their projects, values and their way of doing business. This should be shown in a paragraph explaining your interest and how you will fit well in the organisation.
- Remember that you will be competing with 40 to 100 candidates on every job application, so showing yourself as an advocate of your potential employer's work will increase your chances of being selected.
4. Match your competencies with the job description
- This section should be a paragraph that links your experience, skills and qualifications to the job using personalised examples.
- Make sure you include your technical, specialist and transferrable skills.
- Show evidence of how you obtained those skills (previous experience or education) and how you have used them for the benefit of the previous organisations you worked for. For example, if you say that you are an effective communicator, explain your success in this, what being an effective communicator means to you, and how it might transfer to the applied role.
- Remember that your cover letter will always need to be connected to your CV. So if you add any relevant information on your letter to suit the job advertisement, don't forget to update the CV as well.
5. Aim to get a personal interview
- While you write your cover letter, keep in mind that you are always trying to get a personal meeting with your potential employer, briefly state this at the end of your cover letter.
It's important to remember that this is still a formal document, and therefore it has to be structured as such. However, this doesn't mean that you can't sell yourself and the skills you can offer to the organisation.
Watch the following video for more information about how to write a cover letter for New Zealand employers and common mistakes migrants make:
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