Here at The Johnson Group we see a number of professionals join our talent pool every week. Their applications, like the people themselves, come in all different shapes and sizes, some with a lot of information and others with less. One thing we have noticed more and more recently is the number of applications that don’t have a cover letter attached.
A cover letter is your way of inviting the hiring manager or recruiter to learn more about you and is often the first point of contact you will have with this person. This is where you can succinctly show how your skills and experience meet the employer’s needs and what benefit they will receive from hiring you. A good cover letter should make the reader want to read your whole application, pick up the phone and invite you for an interview.
Candidates often ask what a cover letter should entail. Here's a few suggestions:
Paragraph one. Introduce yourself and state why you are writing; you are presenting yourself for a role and your background makes you a good candidate.
Paragraph two. Describe how your skills and experience would be of value to the organisation and the role.
Paragraph three. Request action from the reader and invite them to read the rest of your application.
Careers New Zealand have some addition information about cover letters including a template on their website.