10 Tips for Writing an Outstanding Cover Letter

Companies, hiring staff and recruiters receive hundreds of applications every week, especially with the job market being so competitive. Now that you have a perfectly-written CV, make sure it doesn’t get overlooked by including an OUTstanding cover letter in your application. Here’s how:


 1.   Keep it short – Consider the person reading it; they’ll be going through dozens of CV’s and cover letters a day and will probably not read more than two-thirds of a page, max. Be concise and a little creative when writing an OUTstanding cover letter.

 2.   Address somebody or nobody at all – Its better to address someone directly, (social media is a great tool to find the name of the hiring manager, especially LinkedIn!) but if you can’t find the right person, jump straight into the letter to avoid it sounding generic.

 3.   Open OUTstandingly – Use a strong opening statement that explains why the job is exciting and why you’re the right person to do it, this will spark the reader’s interest to find out more. Steer clear from potentially awkward humour.

 4.   Make it personal – If you have a personal connection with the company or with someone who works there, mention it in the first sentence or two. This will set you apart from other applicants and you will immediately have a referral.

 5.   Briefly summarize your career – An OUTstanding cover letter should not be your resumé in paragraph-form, but it is a good idea to describe your work experience in one or two specific sentences.

 6.   Tell a story – Use positive language to relate your desire for the job to an experience or distinguished moment in your life.

 7.   Emphasize your value beyond the job description – After researching the company , show that you know what the company does, some challenges it faces and trends in the industry. Don’t  copy-paste from the job description; instead explain how your experiences have equipped you to deal with similar situations. Where possible, illustrate with examples.

 8.   Be professionally enthusiastic – Without going overboard, show your appreciation and interest in the company, and the position. Enthusiasm = Motivation = Hard work = Results.

 9.   Close OUTstandingly – Finish off with one sentence that explains how your experience or worldview will help you in the role. Then, don’t forget to inform the reader how he or she can contact you.

 10.   Do a final grammar-check – While Word has your back with spelling, there’s nothing more off-putting than a sentence you have to read twice to understand. So get another pair of eyes to check your letter for any overlooked grammar mistakes.

Once you’ve followed the above tips and are happy with the result, save your OUTstanding cover letter as a PDF to avoid any conversion issues and format errors.

Good luck with writing and be sure to read our other helpful blogs when preparing for the interview you gained with your OUTstanding cover letter!

Leave a Reply