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KEY POINTS

Using a business letter format write a specific cover letter for each application Write one A4 page with 4 paragraphs using size 12 font (Times New Roman recommended) Include your address, phone numbers and email at the top If the details are supplied, include the name and address of the employer Address the letter to a specific person if possible Address the essential selection criteria and give examples in the cover letter Show your enthusiasm and confidence and avoid exaggerations or apologies Check your cover letter very carefully for correct spelling and grammar

FORMAT
Introductory Paragraph: Identify the job you are applying for, the reference number and state where you found the job vacancy. Middle Paragraphs: This section of the cover letter is vital as it is here that you demonstrate your qualifications, your unique skills, work experience and your suitability for the position. You should take the selection criteria outlined in the advertisement or position description and show how you meet the selection criteria. In order to demonstrate how you could be of value to the organisation, use specific examples describing your qualifications, your skills, your work experience, voluntary work and any extra curricular activities. You should also show that you have the skills and experience valued by employers such as communication and teamwork skills. It is advisable to include a sentence that demonstrates a genuine interest in working for the employer. You should show that you have researched the organisation and that there is a link with the skills and interests you would bring. Try to identify one or two areas that differentiate the employer against their competitors. This may include areas like company awards, achievements or values. Use this information to show your interest and enthusiasm.

Student Career Development 2008

Closing Paragraph: Finish by saying that you are including your resume with your cover letter and, if required, a separate document showing the Response to Selection Criteria and your Transcript of Results. You should conclude by saying that you are keen to attend an interview and that you can be contacted on your mobile number. You can give your mobile number here also. Finish the cover letter with: Yours sincerely Your Signature Your Name

Student Career Development 2008

Use this list to check that you have completed a professional cover letter and have included all the necessary details. Remember to show you have the skills and experience listed in the advertisement.

Have you included your address, phone numbers and professional email address? Do you have the correct date? Is it addressed to the correct person with their full address? Have you commenced with the correct greeting? E.g. Dear Mrs Slater Have you included the title and reference number of the job?

Does this employer know why you are applying for the position and where you saw the advertisement? Have you included your education and qualifications?

Have you provided evidence of your skills for this specific job and written about them honestly without exaggerating? Have you listed your work experience with the most relevant highlighted first and with duties shown using 4 or 5 dot points?

Have you included any voluntary work or achievements that promote you well? Have you addressed any other requirements of the job? E.g. work availability, relocation, drivers license? Have you mentioned that your resume is attached? Have you included your contact phone number for an interview? Have you signed it correctly? Is your letter in a business letter format? Is your letter one A4 page long with a professional font?

Does your letter show your enthusiasm for the job and also your knowledge of the organisation you are applying for? Is your letter grammatically correct? Have you taken out any negative comments about yourself?

Student Career Development 2008

Have you carefully checked the spelling with the spell check on English? (Aus) Have you sent in your cover letter to careers@vu.edu.au for review?

23 Acacia Court Sunshine 3020 Ph: 9227 4572 or Mob: 0415 245 679 Email: awatkins@bigpond.net.au 6 February 2008 Mrs. Kaye Slater Human Resources Manager Smith and Sons 429 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000 Dear Mrs Slater, RE: Position number 200331 Graduate Accountant-Audit I am most interested in applying for the Graduate Accountant position with Smith and Sons as advertised on the Seek website on 27 January 2008. The Auditing position sounds like an exciting opportunity and matches my skills and qualifications. I have recently completed a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting from Victoria University. I completed the Auditing subject with High Distinctions and have developed a good understanding of auditing principles and applications. I have also gained practical experience by working at H&R Block where I demonstrate my strong maths skills, the ability to show attention to detail and confident investigative skills. Last year I joined The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia as a student member and have gained valuable experience networking with members in the industry. For the last four years I have also worked part-time in the Customer Service Department at Target where I have learned to communicate effectively with customers from a range of backgrounds. Last month I was awarded the Employee of the Month for excellent customer service. I have developed confident skills working with a team and as a result I was appointed team leader last year. I am responsible for organising staff rosters and balancing the end of day accounts. I have very strong skills in Student Career Development 2008

the MS Office software packages and have used computers throughout my studies and at various workplaces. I would value the opportunity to work at Smith and Sons particularly as your graduate accountancy mentoring program is well recognised and your business continues to expand. Please consider the enclosed resume and the document addressing the selection criteria. I am keen to attend an interview and can be contacted on my mobile 0415 245 679 to arrange a time. Yours sincerely, Annabelle Watkins Annabelle Watkins

10 Dampier St Taylors Hills 3037 Ph. 0404 222 333 Email: claire.jones@bigpond.net.au 20th August, 2008 HR Manager Recruitment Unit Victoria University PO Box 14428 Melbourne 8001 Dear Sir / Madam, RE: Qualified Childcare Worker Reference Number: 35706W I am very interested in the position of Childcare Worker as advertised on the Victoria University website on 15th August, 2008. This position matches my qualifications and skills and sounds like an exciting opportunity. I have recently completed a Diploma in Childrens Services at Victoria University. This course has provided me with the knowledge, skills and experience required for a successful career as a qualified childcare worker. During a two week work placement at XYZ Learning Centre in Taylors Hills, I was able to use the knowledge I have gained during my studies and further develop my developmental program plans and understanding of the Childrens Services Act and Regulations. My strong communication skills enable me to effectively communicate with parents, children and staff in a Student Career Development 2008

childcare setting and I am confident that I have the ability to deal with problematic situations in a calm, patient and logical manner. For the past 2 years I have been working in the cosmetics department at Target on a part-time basis. In this role I have developed effective interpersonal skills while dealing with customers from various backgrounds. Occasionally I use my native language Arabic when assisting customers from the nearby non-English speaking Arabic community. In addition I was given the opportunity to use my creativity to produce visual stock displays. My manager at Target was impressed by my designs and offered me the weekly responsibility of changing the main window display of the store. During my placement at XYZ Learning Centre I produced a number of thematic room displays that were both appealing and educational for the children. I have the knowledge, skills and experience required to successfully fulfil the Childcare Worker position. I am aware that Victoria University has a commitment to the pursuit of excellence and I have demonstrated my commitment to this value throughout my study and work experience. Please find enclosed a copy of my resume. I look forward to the opportunity of meeting you at an interview and I can be contacted on Ph: 0404 222 333 Yours sincerely, Fatima Ali

Student Career Development 2008