Cover letters: Here’s how to do them right

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No matter the job, everyone’s expected to write cover letters for their job applications. But what purpose do they really serve? We checked in with one of our campus recruiters, Sonya from Oracle, to see what advice she had about writing a killer cover letter.

– A cover letter should always be a value add, not just a rehashing of your CV. If you think your cover letter doesn’t add value to your application, just skip it!

– Generic cover letters that are used for multiple applications do not add any value – make sure you address the right person, company and the position for which you are applying and why this particular position is of interest to you.

– List skills relevant to that particular job with reference to your experience – if you are a strong communicator, back this up with an example of where you were able to demonstrate your strong communication skills.

– A cover letter should also explain any gaps or address any questions the reader of your CV might have, such as time taken off for travel, or circumstances explaining any poor grades.

– Include an element that makes it personable and interesting – introduce your hobbies, causes or charities you’re passionate about, any volunteer work you’ve done, sports, music and how this shapes you and makes you the person you are.

– Make your cover letter the first page of your CV, rather than a separate attachment, so they are always read together. They should complement each other.


Thanks for the tips, Sonya! Need help with your CV, too? Check out our article about CVs, or visit the Careers website for more help.

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