What is a cover letter for, you say?

Simply- it’s a snapshot of your skills, drivers, what you are aiming for, potential successes and your personality.

Any assessor can get a good insight into you via a well written cover letter, a poor one however may end your application right there. You wouldn’t submit a poorly written resume, yet so many students don’t pay attention to their cover letters.

Not everyone asks for a tailored cover letter, so please check if the company has asked for one.

  • If they have, ensure you put time and effort into it- as they will be reading it.
  • If they have clearly stated they do not want a cover letter –do not waste your time as they will not be reading it!
  • If it is not clear – Undercover Grad Recruiters suggests to attach one.

Simple cover letter rules:

It should start with a summary about you, who you are and what skills/ knowledge you possess.

Highlight points such as:

  1. The degree type you are about to/ have completed and link back to why this is relevant for the job you want to secure. For example: “I wish to apply for the position of Graduate/ Intern as advertised [publication] on [date]. I am currently completing my [Bachelor of X] at [college/university] and believe I will be challenged and stretched to provide me the opportunity to learn and grow. I also recognise the invaluable experience that would be gained and set my career in strong steed by working with one of the [most reputable names] in the industry.”
  2. Relevant work experience, be it corporate or other (ie: customer service is still very relevant).
  3. Strengths/ Talents such as languages, leadership exposure or problem-solving.
  4. Achievements (if possible list those outside of university above academic achievements so recruiters can see your scope outside of your studies).
  5. Your drivers, ambitions and career goals.
  6. Where possible, include keywords from a position description, company values and the graduate ‘pillars’ as stated by each company.

(*Pillars refer to the essential or core attributes of the person or role as listed in the job description).

  1. Ensure each letter is tailored to the specific company you are applying for, there is nothing more off putting for a recruiter than reading a cover letter addressed to another company as you forgot to change the name.
  2. Integrate research and company knowledge you have attained where relevant.
  3. Make sure the cover letter reflects and represents you and your desires and goals (don’t fake it or sound like someone you are not).
  4. A graduate cover letter needs to have passion and drive oozing from the words from start to end.
  5. Less is more. There is no need to write more than half to one page for a cover letter.
  6. We say this constantly, but check for grammar and punctuation and get someone to proof it for you before sending.
  7. Finish off with a closing statement such as: “I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you / I would appreciate the opportunity of an interview”.

UC Grad Recruiter.