Free cover letter template
A cover letter is all about making a great first impression and giving your job application the best chance of making progress. A well-written cover letter will encourage a potential employer to read through to your resumé and get in touch to find out more or set up an interview.
We’ve come up with a template to help you get this all down on paper. Use it as your starting point and you’ll be on track to a great cover letter that will get your application noticed.
Remember, this is just a basic outline of the information to include, so make it your own by including skills and experience specific to you.
Download our free cover letter template
Download cover letter template
Think of your cover letter as a pitch – a way to introduce yourself professionally and show the value you could bring to the role you’re applying for. Your resumé is there to document your skills, experience, and achievements, but your cover letter sums these things up in a way that speaks to the job and offers a sense of who you are.
It’s also your chance to show why you’re interested in the particular role, and that you’ve done your research about the company or organisation.
You can tailor the cover letter to you and the job you’re applying for, by explaining:
- why you’re interested in that role
- what the most relevant skills and experience you could bring to it.
“I’m starting out my career in…"
You want to open your cover letter by giving the reader a sense of who you are and why you’re interested in the role.
Alternatively, you could pick an element of the role or field that is exciting and start on that.
Don’t be afraid to vary from the standard opening line by using these first sentences to introduce yourself and your skills in a more personal and unique way.
You might write an opening that explains where you’re at in your career, and where you’re aiming for next. Or perhaps you’d like to emphasise a particular aspect of the job or field of work that appeals to you, and relate it back to the skills or attributes required for the role. For example:
- “ I’ve committed myself to building skills in <aspect of the job> and <another aspect > throughout my work as an <your current role> . Now, I’m ready to take the next step in my career. The <job title> role at <company name> would allow me to contribute my skills to the <team name> team, and in doing so, help <company name> to succeed in <what the company does> .”
- “ Providing patient-centred care has grown to become my key focus as I establish my nursing career. I’m passionate about ensuring dignity and respect, and that’s why this role as Graduate Nurse at Smith Hospital appeals so greatly to me .”
"<Company name> has been of interest to me since …"
By showing your genuine interest and enthusiasm in this role and the business, you’re showing the reader why you’re interested and that you’ve done your research.
This is your time to shine with the knowledge you have about the business, what you admire or like and where you think you fit or can help them achieving their business goals.
"I welcome the opportunity…"
This final section of the cover letter should sum up your enthusiasm for the role and how you believe you can make a contribution to both the role and the business. It’s also an opportunity to suggest next steps in the process and thank the reader for their time.
Once you’ve used the template to create your own cover letter, come back to it with fresh eyes and ensure there are no errors or things you’ve missed. Try reading it aloud, or better yet, have someone you trust look over it to give you feedback.
Ultimately, you want to make your cover letter as compelling as possible, to capture the reader’s attention then make them want to get in contact with you. And the best way to do that is to make sure it’s a true reflection of you as a person and what you’ve achieved.
Discover what roles are right for you and the job opportunities available, with our explore careers tool .
Cover letters: the good and the bad, 7 cover letter openers to land you an interview, 8 things to cut from your cover letter.
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Templates and examples to help you create your own CV's (resumes) and cover letters.
What's on this page?
Cover letter template and example, skills-focused cv for changing career or gaps in your work history, work-focused cv for career progression, skills-focused cv for school leavers, specialist cv's, find out more, create a cv online with cv builder and it saves automatically.
You can use our CV Builder to create your CV. It'll automatically save to your careers.govt.nz account.
- CV Builder – create your own CV online
Don't want to use CV Builder? Use our CV and cover letter templates by saving them to your computer
If you don't want to use CV Builder, you can use the templates on this page to create your CV and cover letter.
Save and name your templated CV and cover letter
- When you download the templates, remember to save them on your computer as a Word document and a PDF. Employers may need either format.
- Name your documents with your name, the application date, and the job you're applying for. For instance, "Mere Smith 1 Oct 2023 Water Engineer CV". This helps employers keep track of your documents.
Read our examples and use our templates to create your cover letter. Remember to save it on your computer.
Cover letter examples:
- Cover letter example (Word - 16KB)
- Cover letter example (PDF - 0.1MB)
Cover letter templates:
- Cover letter template (Word - 20KB)
- Cover letter template (PDF - 0.1MB)
Use a skills-focused CV template if you haven't had many jobs, have gaps between jobs or are changing career.
Skills-focused CV examples:
- Skills CV example (Word - 27KB)
- Skills CV example (PDF - 0.1MB)
Skills-focused CV templates:
- Skills CV template (Word - 25KB)
- Skills CV template (PDF - 0.4MB)
Read about describing skills in your CV:
Use a work-focused CV template if you're changing to a similar job or a higher-level role in the same area, or want to highlight your work experience and career progression.
Work-focused CV examples:
- Work CV example (Word - 27KB)
- Work CV example (PDF - 0.4MB)
Work-focused CV templates:
- Work CV template (Word - 26KB)
- Work VV template (PDF - 0.4MB)
Use a skills-focussed school leaver CV template if you're about to leave or have recently left school.
School-leaver CV examples:
- School leaver CV example (Word - 26KB)
- School leaver CV example (PDF - 0.3MB)
School-leaver CV templates:
- School Leaver CV template (Word - 25KB)
- School Leaver CV template (PDF - 0.4MB)
Some careers require a particular style of CV.
CV's for academic, creative, engineering, health, legal and teaching careers:
- University of Otago website - CV and Cover Letter Guide (PDF - 0.3MB)
- University of Oxford website - CVs for creative careers
- Victoria University website - CV/Resume Preparation for Teaching (PDF - 0.7MB)
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Updated 22 Sep 2023
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How to write an NZ cover letter (with examples and templates)
Along with your CV, a cover letter is essential to any NZ job application. Let's get you started.
Every New Zealand job application should include a cover letter.
This document is key to showing an employer you’re serious about their vacancy, and for demonstrating what you bring to the table . Despite its importance, many people aren’t sure how to write a cover letter – and their applications suffer as a result.
That’s why we’ve created this guide, giving you advice on everything from what to include, to how to lay it out.
We’ve also snuck in a few examples to make life even easier for you … aren’t we nice?
Cover letters vs. CVs: what’s the difference?
To understand the role cover letters play in job applications, it’s important to realise how they differ from CVs:
CVs give a broad picture of you as an applicant – providing details such as educational background and employment history . By contrast, a cover letter targets why you want this specific role, and how your skills and experience make you a great candidate.
While there will be areas of overlap as you select qualifications or abilities to draw out in your cover letter, it definitely should not be an elongated version of your CV.
An NZ cover letter should be no longer than one page, while CVs are usually between one and two.
The most obvious visual difference between these documents and CVs hinges around bullet points.
While your CV should be a bullet point bonanza, cover letters favour full sentences. That’s not to say you can’t have any bullets in a cover letter, just use them more sparingly.
You should include a cover letter with every job application.
What to include in a cover letter
1. your contact info, the date and the business’ address.
At the top of your cover letter should be:
- Your full name, contact details and home address
- The date you submit the application
- The business’ postal address
It should look like this:
Head up your cover letter like this.
2. Your opener
People worry about how to start a cover letter , but there’s a simple formula and structure for getting this right:
Make it personal : start with ‘dear’, and address it to a person – i.e. the hiring manager. If their name isn’t in the job listing, try a good old fashioned stalk of the company website, or ring the business and find out. ‘To whom it may concern’ is a no go.
Make it clear : organisations often list multiple vacancies at a time, so make it obvious which position you’re applying for. A sentence like, ‘I’m writing to apply for the Marketing Assistant role, as advertised on Trade Me Jobs’, will do the trick.
Make it punchy : next, add a snappy one-liner summing up why you’re interested in the role and what you’d bring to their business. Remember, you can go into more detail in the interview itself. For example:
3. Why them
A common cover letter mistake is to only focus on yourself. Before choosing you, employers want to know why you’re choosing them. This helps sort candidates who are genuinely passionate about their organisation from those who are mass applying to anything and everything.
Warning : this section is not about inflating the hiring manager's ego by flattering the company – be positive, but be thoughtful.
Now, it’s time to sell yourself.
This section of your cover letter is where you highlight your most relevant skills and experience.
You can draw on anything from previous work experience to certificates and qualifications. The important bit is linking whatever you mention to the job – simply listing skills is not the answer.
To do this effectively, you need to carefully study the job ad and identify what capabilities the employer values most. If your Trade Me Jobs Profile is up-to-date, you can then quickly skim your skills and experience to find those which most closely match the job description.
Top tip: the more detail you can give, the better. Helped raise sales? Great. Helped raise sales by 6%? Even better.
If you want to add some extra skills or information to this section, a bullet point list is a good option. Note : only do this after introducing your headline examples in full sentence form, as above, and keep your list to three or four concise bullets.
5. Signing off
The end of your cover letter should (politely) prompt the reader to get in touch with you to arrange the next steps. Make sure you end on a high, and continue the energy from earlier in your closing sentence, for example:
How to format a cover letter
With your content sorted, it’s now about nailing the visuals. Cover letters are usually easier than CVs in this regard, as they’re laid out like a traditional letter. However, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- What font should I use? Keep it simple, and the same as on your CV. If your font is hard to read, or too small, the letter will end up in the wrong pile.
- How long should a cover letter be? New Zealand cover letters should be under one page long.
- Should I use paragraphs? Would you read huge, unbroken chunks of text? We doubt it, so make sure to break up your cover letters into paragraphs.
- What are the correct cover letter margins? Leave these at their default setting so your cover letter has plenty of blank space, and doesn’t look crowded.
All done? Not quite.
Perhaps the most important stage of cover letter writing is proofreading. After all that hard work, you don’t want a few silly typos or poor punctuation letting you down.
So check it yourself, then get someone else to have a look, then have a final glance.
Once you’re happy, it’s time to attach it to your application, and hit send.
Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.
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The importance of cover letter, what is a cover letter.
Let’s go back to basics – what is a cover letter? A cover letter acts as a personal introduction in a professional setting. Usually, it’s a separate document that you attach to a job application along with your CV. You should use it to demonstrate your personality and summarise why you are the right person for the job, so the reader can consider the rest of your CV with this set up in mind.
Follow our tips for how to write a cover letter or download our cover letter template.
Why write a cover letter?
The idea for writing cover letters for your resume is simple: it needs to be engaging enough for an employer to read to feel compelled to find out more about your skills and experience in your resume, before (hopefully) calling you in for an interview.
Not all candidates make the effort to write a tailored and personalised cover letter, so by making sure you write a cover letter that answers specifics needs in the job ad, it’ll help separate you from other applicants. In turn, giving you a greater likelihood of being shortlisted for an interview.
Download your Cover Letter template
Enter your details below to download your Cover Letter template:
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Cover letter advice.
Recruiters & hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications for each job. You need to start with a great cover letter to gain attention. Learn how with this video from Hays.
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How long should a cover letter be , how to write a cover letter | 3rd content block | ub, cover letter format, how to write a cover letter | 4th content block | ub, 1. do your research, 2. address your cover letter to the right person, 3. how to start a cover letter write an attention-grabbing introduction, 4. add evidence of your successes , 5. highlight key skills, 6. sign off professionally, 7. review your cover letter , how to write a cover letter | 5th content block | ub, what not to include in a cover letter, excessive details, repeat your cv, don’t write in the third person, can ai write the perfect cover letter, how to write a cover letter | 6th content block | ub, final tips around how to write a cover letter.
- Keep it succinct and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Your cover letter should not exceed five paragraphs.
- State what your motivation is behind your application.
- Just as you would in your CV, use strong verbs to demonstrate action and accomplishments, such as ‘organise’ or ‘supervise’.
- Optimise the subject line. Also check the job description again, in case the employer asks applicants to include something specific in the subject line.
- If you are applying for a job online rather than email, consider putting your cover letter and resume into the same document so they don’t get separated.
- Remember, our cover letter template is free to download and can be used as another way to capture the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager and encourage them to more closely review your resume. Good luck.
How to write a cover letter | 7th content block | UB
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Resumes & cover letters: Cover letter templates
A cover letter is often your first communication with a potential employer, and therefore it is vital that when writing a cover letter you make it compelling and professional from the very first line, marking you out as a candidate they need to contact.
A good cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your written communication skills and your motivation for applying for the role. Writing a cover letter customised to the job demonstrates you have taken the time to put some effort into your application. You can also use a cover letter as an opportunity to highlight and provide more detail on any specific skills or experience which are relevant to the role you are applying for.
To help you structure your cover letter, we’ve developed 4 free cover letter templates and cover letter samples you can use to write a cover letter that will catch the eye of hiring managers and recruiters and increase your chances of getting an interview. For additional tips and advice on cover letter writing, check out our article How to write a cover letter .
Download our free cover letter templates
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Free Cover Letter Templates
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free professional cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Reviewed, community-centred and expert-approved
Good cover letter samples.
Our cover letter templates are designed to support job-seekers in any stage of their employment journey. With our pre-written phrases, in-built spell-checker, expert advice and professional layouts, our cover letter builder will help simplify your job-hunt.
Cover letters introduce your professional story to employers. We’ve designed our templates to make sharing your profile and professional story as easy as possible. Say goodbye to formatting issues and say hello to sleek, professional designs in minutes. We’ll help get you sorted.
CV Cover Letter examples to help kickstart your career journey
Picture this: you’re browsing job sites looking for roles that best suit your career profile, when suddenly you see it — a job that matches perfectly with your professional experience and preferences. When reading the job description, you’re overcome with the feeling that this is the job role you’ve been waiting for.
Only one small problem: you’ve got to submit your CV and the deadline is fast approaching. You want to put your best foot forward but you’re unsure of how to proceed. That’s where we come in!
Our cover letter templates are designed to show employers that you’re the perfect candidate for the
role. After years of working with professionals around the world, we’ve got successful cover letter building down to a science. We make standing out in a sea of applicants easy with our expert-approved, professionally designed templates. Your dream career is closer than you think!
Top 10 Examples
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Our internship cover letter includes professional advice on how to structure your profile, solid formatting tips, and advice on tone of voice and how to best convey your strengths and expertise. Don't forget to browse our blog or check out our free CV internship cover letter sample!
In the customer service industry, employers are looking for proactive professionals with excellent communication skills. We’ve designed our customer service cover letter template to highlight your skills and strengths and convince employers that you’re the perfect candidate for the role.
Whether you’ve had extensive experience in the customer service industry or you’re just starting out, our customer service cover letter template will help promote your professional story to potential employers and help get you noticed in no time.
Administrative assistants are often the first point of contact for important office tasks. Potential employers are looking for trustworthy candidates who have an eye for organisation, order, and detail. We've designed our administrative assistant cover letter to highlight the skills and qualities you'd bring to the job role.
All of our cover letter templates come with guides to help you successfully build your professional profile and advance your career. Regardless of how much work experience you have, our administrative assistant cover letter template will help potential employers understand who you are and what you have to offer.
Teachers are tasked with training the next generation of leaders. As a result, making a good first impression with employers is essential. We've created a guide to help you understand how schools and educational institutions make their hiring decisions. You'll learn how to present your professional background in a way that will set you apart from other applicants and give you a much better chance of landing your ideal job role.
In our teacher cover letter application example, we'll share our best tips on how to create a compelling profile and what elements to include in your cover letter. Once you're happy with your profile, you can choose one of our cover letter templates and submit your application!
If you're interested in a career in nursing, we've got the perfect cover letter template for you. Read our guide for tips and advice on how to write a powerful cover letter that will get you noticed by employers faster. We'll help you highlight the skills and traits important to nursing employers and help you get closer to the nursing career of your dreams.
Creating powerful, impressive cover letters can be difficult without the right resources and guidance. We've got you covered! All of our cover letter templates are expert-approved and can be easily customised. Check out our guide and blog for more information on creating the perfect nursing cover letter application.
Scholarships are a great way to help you explore different career or educational pathways. Writing a compelling scholarship cover letter is essential to getting noticed by scholarship committees and those in charge of reviewing your scholarship application. In this guide, we’ll show you how scholarship cover letters differ from other job cover letters and give you important tips on how to create convincing, attractive scholarship applications.
Scholarships are often very competitive, so by using our free cover letter builder and resources, you put yourself at an advantage against other candidates. Use our impressive cover letter builder to design a stand-out cover letter for your next scholarship application!
Receptionists play an important role in delivering results for companies and organisations. As a receptionist, you’ll be required to manage a variety of administrative tasks. Potential employers will be looking for evidence of skills and experience that may help you in your receptionist role.
We’ve created our cover letter builder and receptionist cover letter guide to help you advance your career and share your professional story with ease. With impressive designs, sleek layouts and excellent formatting, your receptionist cover letter will help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed faster.
Careers in engineering require a good understanding of the engineering industry and how to impress potential engineering employers. In our cover letter guide, we’ll help you tailor your cover letter to the exact criteria employers are looking for. Plus, with our in-built spell-checker, excellent formatting and professional design layouts, you can write with the confidence of knowing you’re going to make a great first impression.
In our guide, we explore important features in an engineering cover letter application, the dos and don’ts when writing to engineering employers, and help you create your most compelling professional tips.
In the graphic design industry, presentation is paramount. That's why we've designed our cover letter applications to present a compelling professional image to potential employers. In our guide, you'll learn what should be included in a graphic design cover letter application, as well as what to avoid.
We’ll help you tailor your cover letter to the exact criteria that graphic design employers are looking for. With impressive formatting, stunning designs and beautiful layouts, we’ll help you create the perfect cover letter for employers.
At cvapp.nz, we understand the importance of being organised and having a good eye for detail. As an accountant, potential employers are looking for candidates who are organised, accurate, and responsible. In our guide, we'll help you highlight these qualities and give you pointers on what to include in an impressive cover letter.
In our guide, we' address important elements such as formatting and tone of voice, and explain how to tailor your application to the accounting and finance industry. With expert-approved advice and professional layouts, we'll help you unlock your career potential and get closer to your dream career.
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Cover letter templates and tips
Create a cover letter that will help you get a job, giving more detail about why you're suitable for the job you're applying for. You should always send a covering letter with your CV.
Writing a cover letter
- Be neat and tidy: if you’re sending a hard copy of your CV, print your letter on unmarked, white A4 paper.
- Keep it short: ideally just one page.
- Check your spelling and grammar and make sure you’ve got the correct job title and name spelling for the person you’re writing to.
- Be professional, positive and confident.
- Most of your letter should be in full sentences and split into paragraphs. You may wish to use bullet points to list key skills and achievements.
Your letter will probably be the first thing the employer sees, and they may decide whether to read your CV based on it. Write a tailored cover letter for each role or job lead outlining why you’re suited to that particular position.
Cover letter templates
1. advertised job.
Make sure you state clearly the job you're applying for, where you saw the vacancy advertised and why you're suitable for the job.
2. Organisation interest
Use this letter if you're approaching an organisation with your CV to ask if they have any suitable vacancies.
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How to Write a Cover Letter - Templates and 40+ Must-Know Tips
- The first step sees the ATS software check CVs for keywords to sort the job applications into the relevant or not relevant piles.
- The recruiter or hiring manager then reads the relevant CVs and cover letters. To maximise your employment chances, the cover letter must catch the recruiter's eye and get them to read your application .
- Final Checks
- Checklist Before Submitting Your Application
- Cover Letters Templates
- If you are applying to a manager within the prospective employer , they may be looking at you as someone they might enjoy working with, as well as someone who will be an asset to the team.
- If a consultant is handling the recruitment, they will be looking for someone who exactly matches the criteria and that they can sell to their client. Recruiters don't get paid unless they place someone in the job, so make sure you know exactly who you are writing to.
- Overall, the cover letter should focus on what's important and always eliminate irrelevant information. If you're shortlisted, a recruitment agency will (usually) forward the letter to the hiring manager at the company. For this reason, what you put in the contents is crucially important. Our six steps (below) guide you through building it out.
Six Steps to Build the Body of Your Cover Letter
- You should have already put the position you are applying for at the head of the letter, so there is no need to repeat.
- You are selling yourself here; use the first couple of sentences introduce yourself as someone with the required experience and skills and tell them what an asset you could be to their company.
- Your aim is to capture the reader's attention from the start and persuade them to read the rest of the letter, review your CV and shortlist you for the job.
- Expanding ranges for (product name) from CBD stores into the suburbs, generating 57% growth in sales
- Successfully selling a new product range into New World stores
- Read the advertised vacancy carefully and try to pick out the key points they are looking for.
- Make sure you match the criteria the employer is seeking.
- Don't think: "These are my skills; let me tell you about them". Think: "You are looking for this skill; let me tell you how I have it."
- Don't just repeat the advert verbatim - tie it in to your current experience.
- Ensure your letterhead is nicely formatted by using a table.
- Insert a 2 X 4 table, put your details in the first line (right box), the addressee and the job title in line on the second line (left box), the date on the third row (left box), and the vacancy details in the forth row (left box).
- Align the left column to the left and the right column to the right.
- When you are done, right-click anywhere in the table, select "borders and shading", and choose "none".
- Make sure when you upload the file you click on "remove the properties and security information" - you'll need to right click on the file and then open "properties". This avoids the issue of the file name from another application appearing inadvertently in the file you send.
- Spelling: Be sure to use a spellchecker. Take particular care with names and addresses; it can be a bit embarrassing to send someone a letter and spell their name wrong.
- Commonly confused words: Make sure you aren't talking about your roll instead of your role , and that you should have rather than should of , as well as using the right there , their , they're .
- Abbreviations: If the advert uses terms like B2B or ATL, you should use them in your letter. Other abbreviations should be avoided. The recruiter looking at your application might not have the technical knowledge to understand an acronym you are using even if it is standard in your work. Companies often have in-house acronyms outsiders won't get. To avoid any issues, write these out in full.
- Capital letters: Check that you have capital letters in the right places. Your word processor might automatically capitalise the first letter of your email address; it will look much better if it is all lower case.
- Consistent fonts: Check that you have the same font in the right size throughout the letter. Random paragraphs in a different font, size or spacing is not a good look. Check that any use of bolding or italics is appropriate.
- Use the right email address: [email protected] might be acceptable for casual use, but you'd be better off setting up [email protected] for job applications and other serious occasions.
- Read it out loud to make certain that it has a clear, logical structure: it must introduce you, say why you would be a good candidate, and finish with a call to action.
- Subject line: If you are sending by email, always ensure that you have a clear subject line: Application for Level 2 Lab Technician Vacancy . Never send an email without a subject line.
- File names: Never just call the file coverletter.pdf, as it looks generic and suggests it's not personalised. Always put your name EdwardSmith_coverletter.pdf.
- Uploading: If you are uploading the cover letter to a website along with your CV, make sure to save it as a PDF so that it will always look exactly as you want it to. If you upload a Word file and the employer is using other software, or a different version of Word, the formatting, in some instances, could be changed and undo all your work.
- Emailing: If you plan to send the cover letter and CV by email, do not send the letter as an attachment. The odds of someone opening it are not good. Write the letter in the body of the email following the same guidelines as above and attach the CV. Make sure the CV also has an appropriate file name such as EdwardSmith_CV.pdf.
- Email signature: If you have an automatic email signature, make sure it is appropriate for business use.
Summary and Our View:
- Overall, following the above guidelines will ensure that you have a professional-looking cover letter with good readability.
- Putting in the effort on your cover letter will always stand you in good stead and might be the difference between someone reading your letter and someone just skipping past it to the next one in the pile.
- Content is equally important, which we outline below, but you should not neglect presentation even if your cover letter has excellent substance.
- Read the advert carefully for keywords and criteria and do some research on the company
- Address it to the right person
- Be clear and concise
- Have a structure – beginning, middle, end
- Target your letter
- Use active words to describe your work – accomplished, achieved, led, created, increased, identified
- Highlight specific achievements and successes
- Don't forget your full contact details
- Don't forget to say what job you are applying for
- Avoid writing a dull opening paragraph. If your first paragraph isn't interesting, it will be the only one they read. Make sure it tells them who you are and why you're a great candidate
- Don't fail to make your case. Don't be arrogant, but show some confidence in what you have to offer and why it is in their interest to hire you
- Don't just repeat what is in your CV. No copy-pasting - people are too busy to read things twice
- Don't forget a call to action in your sign-off
- Don't start every sentence with "I" (instead, try to mix it up a bit)
- Don't go on too long. One full page is perfect
- Don't forget your attachments
- Microsoft Office offers cover letter templates (there are free and premium versions). However, these are not specific to New Zealand employers.
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