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Cover Letter Basics

A successful cover letter should pique the reader's curiosity and motivate them to review your CV. It is important to avoid simply copying and pasting your CV into the letter. 

Templates should be avoided as they can make the letter sound generic. Instead, writing the cover letter from scratch allows for a more personalized and engaging approach. 

Each cover letter should be tailored for a specific role or purpose, as writing an effective one without considering a specific job is impossible. Keeping the structure simple with four main paragraphs is recommended.

1st paragraph

Explain to them why you’re interested in the job. Make it about them and you. Make it personal too. Why does this company or role resonate with you personally?

Kia ora John, I am excited to learn that ABC School is now hiring for a secondary teacher in Auckland. I’ve been waiting for such an opportunity and have been learning about your organisation for 3 weeks. This role brings me excitement because growing up, I’ve learned the value of proper education, so learning about your company’s goal to promote equal learning opportunities personally resonated with me. I want to be part of your story.

2nd paragraph

Give them a strong example of why you fit for the role guided by what the role is requiring. Make sure you just use one best example to elaborate your thoughts.

A few years back, I was the lead teacher for the XYZ school in Auckland, I have worked with children with different learning disabilities and have helped each one cope with their challenges by developing a program specifically fit for each student. Although it was challenging to come up with a lesson plan for 10 students every month, the results were highly successful as compared to an all-encompassing strategy.

3rd paragraph

Give them a sneak peek of who you are as an employee in the workplace. What’s your best trait? Be guided by what the role is looking for, for example; Teamwork, can-do attitude, strong communication, etc.

I thrive in a high-pressure environment, I am always motivated by the challenges of my work. Back in 2019, I started a role with ABC Corp which required me to work with stakeholders and internal teams. The first project had to be delivered with only 2 months' lead time. As a natural leader and an active contributor, I was able to rally the team to work for a common goal and we were able to meet the project deadline with a few days to spare. I have a strong work ethic and a cooperative attitude that has always allowed me to grow professionally and gain success in my current endeavours.

4th paragraph

Thank the reader for their time and express your interest in being interviewed for the role.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my application further and how I would bring value to ABC Corp.

Personal and well-crafted cover letters are crucial because they provide an opportunity to showcase your unique qualifications, experiences, and enthusiasm for the specific role and company.

By personalizing your cover letter, you demonstrate a genuine interest in the position and company, which can make a positive impression on the reader.

Crafting a well-written letter allows you to effectively communicate your skills, accomplishments, and how you can contribute to the organization. A personalized and well-crafted cover letter increases your chances of capturing the reader's attention, standing out from other applicants, and ultimately securing an interview opportunity.