The covering letter should outline your reasons for applying and demonstrate broadly how you meet the requirements of the position.
It is normally the first thing the selection panel will read. It is important that the covering letter looks good, sounds positive and enthusiastic, and attracts the reader's attention. It is also one way of demonstrating your written communication skills.
It is recommended that you include the following information in your covering letter:
There are different views about whether the covering letter should be typed or handwritten.
In general a typed letter looks better presented, neater and easier to read, so if you have access to a computer, it is probably a good idea to provide a typed covering letter.
If you do decide to produce a handwritten letter, make sure it is legible, neat and easy to read.
All of your written application needs to sound positive and enthusiastic. This is particularly important with your covering letter, since this is the first document a selection panel will read. How you phrase things and the words you use can convey either a positive or a negative message to the selection panel.
Try to avoid saying what you can't do; avoid phrases such as:
or words such as:
Use of such words and phrases may convey a negative message to the selection panel that you either do not have the necessary skills and experience, or that you lack self-confidence.
Instead, focus on positive statements, such as:
and words such as:
Such positive words and phrases convey to the selection panel that you do have the skills and experience, and that you have confidence in your own abilities.
If possible, keep your covering letter to a single page. Too much information, especially if it is not relevant to the job, may detract from the letter. Your statement addressing the selection criteria is the place to give more detailed information about yourself and your ability to do the job.
The examples of covering letters include: