One of the best ways to land the job of your dreams is to write a compelling cover letter for the job application that’s clear and concise. There’s nothing worse for the hiring manager than opening up the file to find that the cover letter format is confusing, it’s three pages long, and full of irrelevant information. Keep reading to discover all the tips and tricks about how to write a cover letter to get the attention of NZ hiring managers – from someone who’s interviewed people herself.
How to Write a Cover Letter NZ
Writing a cover letter for a job application is easier than most people expect. There are plenty of templates floating around online that show you how to write a cover letter in NZ, but you don’t even really need one.
The main trick is to look closely at the job ad and job description, if you have it, to spot the key traits the hiring manager is looking for. Keep in mind that the hiring manager won’t have a lot of time to read your cover letter with so many other applications to review. That’s why you need to keep it as simple as possible.
There should be a list somewhere of the main traits and experience required – ensure that you use the exact same words to describe these skills as the job ad does. Think of it as like using a secret password – the exact wording matters to unlock the next stage of your application. Using the same wording not only allows resume screening software to pick up that you match the description but makes it simpler for the hiring manager to check off that you meet the requirements.
For example, if the job ad asks for someone organised and dependable, describe yourself as organised and dependable. Don’t try to go off-book and say you manage your time well and you’re reliable. This might mean the same thing, but you’re just complicating it for the busy hiring manager trying to screen your cover letter at a glance.
What Should a Cover Letter for a Job Application Include?
There are a few key areas you should include in your cover letter:
- Why you’re applying – start by describing why you were excited to see this job listing and why you’re passionate about working in that industry or for the specific company. This shows you are dedicated to applying for this role, not just applying for anything that comes up because you’re desperate.
- Relevant experience – let the manager know what experience you have that will enable you to hit the ground running in this position. For example, if you are applying for an admin role, mention that in your current job, you utilize the Microsoft Office suite every day.
- How that experience proves your skills – now, describe how your experience demonstrates that you have the skills required for the position. For example, if the job ad asks for someone who is good with numbers, don’t just say you’re good with numbers without proving it. Say, for instance, that you currently perform statistical data analysis and have managed to reduce the costs in your current business by 12%, showing that you are good with numbers.
Cover Letter Format
The cover letter format will be essential to help the hiring manager understand the information you are trying to convey. Cover these points as a paragraph each, in order:
- Why – why you want the job
- Previous role – and how that shows you have some of the skills listed
- Another previous position (if applicable) – and how it shows that you have the rest of the skills listed
- Confident close – close by making a strong statement such as ‘I believe that I can be an asset to [company] due to my strong background in [industry]. I look forward to discussing this application with you further.’ Thank them for their time, and sign off.
What if You Don’t Meet All of the Requirements?
Remember that the point of a cover letter is to show the hiring manager you have the required skills. Even if you have no relevant experience, you can still pick up on things you have done in the past which show you have the desired traits.
For example, if you are applying for a management-level position and have never had direct reports, you could talk about your time spent coaching soccer and how that taught you to manage others and direct a team towards achieving their goals.
If you don’t meet all of the specific experience or ability requirements and can’t think of a transferrable skill, don’t worry about it – just don’t mention it. This is better than pointing out that you do not have the desired trait or ability.
There’s no better way to learn how to write a cover letter to get hired in NZ than to begin practising. Browse the latest job listings at Shopless now to begin the hunt for your next dream job. Make sure to revisit all of the above advice, but at the end of the day, just consider what you would want to read if you were the hiring manager for that position. Good luck, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that you land an interview!