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How to write a cover letter employers will want to read.
What's on this page?
Cover letter basics, make your cover letter easy to read, what to put in your cover letter, cover letter template, find out more.
Your cover letter needs to show:
- why you are interested in the job
- how your skills and experience match the job
- why an employer should read your CV.
- check your cover letter for spelling and grammar
- send your cover letter as a Word document
- also copy your cover letter into the message box of the email.
To make your cover letter look good:
- use a black, easy to read font in one size
- use simple language and be warm and friendly
- use positive phrases like 'I have' and 'I can'
- use bullet points to list information
- avoid weak words like 'some knowledge' or 'fairly experienced'
- avoid starting each sentence with 'I'
- avoid repeating your whole CV
- avoid photos or images
- keep your letter to one page.
1. Contact details
Start with your contact details. For example:
Lizzie Long 1 Short Street Middelsburgh Auckland 9999 09 999 9999 [email protected]
Then the date you send the cover letter. For example:
10 January 2019
Then the advertiser's name, organisation, address and email. For example:
Reginald Farnham ABC Sales 85 Tuesday Road Papakura Auckland 7777 [email protected]
Start with 'Dear ...'. Use the name given in the job advertisement. If there isn't one, call the organisation to find out the name or use the name of the organisation.
Under the greeting put the position details. For example:
I am writing to apply for the Sales Assistant vacancy (vacancy number 40568) at ABC Sales, as advertised on Trade Me.
3. Explain your interest in the job
In the next paragraph, explain your interest in the job and how you will fit into the organisation. Be enthusiastic and use positive language.
I have been a customer of ABC Sales for several years and have always been impressed by the quality of service I have received. I am enthusiastic and professional, and I believe I would fit well into the company's team culture and contribute to the ongoing success of the sales department.
4. Link your skills and experience to the job
In one paragraph link your experience, skills and qualifications to the job. Use two or three key examples.
Research the employer online and show how your skills can be useful to the employer.
For the past two years I have worked as a sales assistant at a busy shoe store, which has enabled me to develop excellent customer service skills. I am now looking for a new challenge that will provide me with the opportunity to further develop my retail sales career. In support of my application I have attached a copy of my CV. It shows that I will bring important skills to the position, including: time management and strong organisational skills a high level of customer service cash handling and sales ability motivation and dedication.
5. Ask the employer to contact you
Finally, ask the employer to contact you to talk more about your application.
I would enjoy having the opportunity to discuss my application with you and how I could use my skills to benefit ABC Sales. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely Lizzie Long
See a cover letter example and try our cover letter template:
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Updated 29 Oct 2020
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How to write a cover letter
A well-written cover letter is one of the most important tools you have to convince your employer that you are the right person for the job. When crafted carefully, a cover letter will demonstrate how your skills and expertise can add value to the company you want to work for.
As one of the top recruitment agencies in Auckland , we created the ultimate guide to crafting the perfect cover letter. Whether you’re looking to understand what a cover letter is, what to include or exclude in a cover letter, or for tips on how to write a persuasive cover letter - we can help you get your application to the top of the pile.
Cover letter writing
Writing a cover letter is a task that requires research, consideration and personalisation. If you nail the cover letter, you’ll be well on your way to landing the job you’ve dreamed of. But a poorly written cover letter - even if you are the perfect candidate for the job - will see your CV go straight to the bottom of the pile.
What is a cover letter?
A resume cover letter is a letter to the hiring manager that accompanies the resume. These days, most CVs are emailed or submitted electronically, and the cover letter will either be the first page of the document or included as an accompanying attachment.
The purpose of a cover letter is to give a preview, or a sneak-peak, into what your resume will contain. It links your CV to the role that you are applying for and persuades the hiring manager that your application is worth the time to read.
A cover letter is often overlooked, or approached as an after-thought. After all, you’ve spent hours perfecting your resume – surely the CV is the most important element? Wrong. The cover letter is usually the first thing an employer will see, before they begin to read your CV. Therefore, it’s critical that you invest the time to get your resume cover letter right.
Is a cover letter mandatory?
Imagine your CV is a book: the story of your career. You’ve laboured over the manuscript and hope that it will be published one day. The cover letter is the letter to the publisher, convincing them why they should read your manuscript. It’s the opportunity for you to make a connection and to convince them that your book – or the story of your career – is worth reading.
Some employers specifically request a cover letter. If they do, then you can be confident that they will read it. A cover letter is not always mandatory – however, even if employers don’t specify that a cover letter is required, you should still invest the time to write one. It demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job and shows that you have taken the time to consider the particular role’s requirements and how you can add value to their business.
How long should a cover letter be?
The purpose of a cover letter is to sell your skills and ability to the hiring manager - think of it as your one chance to catch their eye to read your resume.
A good cover letter should be succinct. Keep your cover letter to four paragraphs that fit on one page in total. If your cover letter is any longer, it will only demonstrate to your employer that you lack focus.
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Cover letter strategy
When it comes to writing a cover letter for resumes, remember the three C’s: Connect, Convince and Courtesy. The purpose of the resume cover letter is to first Connect with your hiring manager. Then you should aim to Convince the hiring manager that your CV is worth reading.
Whilst including a cover letter may seem old-fashioned, such Courtesies are highly valued in the professional world, and a professional cover letter will thank the hiring manager for their time reading your CV and considering you for the role.
Learn more >
Career change cover letter
Making the decision to embark on a new career is one thing; convincing a hiring manager that you’re the right fit for a new industry and job type can be a far greater challenge – one that can demand a compelling cover letter.
If you’re struggling to find the right words to land you that new gig, read on for handy tips on how to write a cover letter for a new career.
What information should you include in your cover letter?
Your cover letter should always include your contact details, and follow a clear structure, to convince the hiring manager that your CV is the one they should read. You should ensure your cover letter adheres to a formal letter format, for example addressing the reader by name.
Here is a definitive list of what to include in a cover letter - and what to avoid.
How to personalise your cover letter
In writing a cover letter, remember that it should never be generic – it should be personalised and tailored to the job and company that you are applying for.
Have attention to detail . Scrutinise the job advertisement and ensure the details are exactly mirrored in your resume. For example, if job applications are to be sent to ‘Stephanie Green, HR Manager’, ensure that Stephanie’s name and title are on your cover letter and the spelling is exact. If the job title that you are applying for is ‘Administration Assistant’, ensure that you don’t write ‘Administration Coordinator’.
Reference relevant skills and experience . If you’ve done your research, you will know exactly what kind of skills and experience the hiring manager is looking for. For example, if the advertisement mentions that they are looking for a Project Manager who is ‘excellent at stakeholder engagement’, you could say; “As a Project Manager with 8 years’ experience, I am known for my ability to influence and engage key stakeholders to achieve business goals.”
Reference the company . In your research, you may have identified what the company goals or values are. Ensure that you reference those goals and values when writing a cover letter, and articulate how they reflect your own goals and values.
How to create the perfect cover letter layout
Learning how to write a cover letter can be time-consuming, but once you have practiced it, it will become second nature.
Investing the time to tailor and personalise the cover letter will always stand you in good stead, and help your cover letter – and CV – stand out from the crowd.
Cover letter templates
If you need to write a cover letter, you may consider using a cover letter template, or cover letter examples to inspire you. Whether you decide to use a cover letter template or not in your job search , it is key to use it as inspiration, or as a stepping stone to creating your unique cover letter.
Always remember that your objective is to stand out, and you can only stand out if you invest the time to craft a cover letter that is personalised, tailored and convincing.
Cover letter pros and cons
When deciding whether or not to use a cover letter template, there are some pros and cons to consider.
- Cover letter examples can save you time, as there will be a standard structure that you can follow. You won't have to spend time thinking about what you should include, as there will be clear prompts to guide you.
- Cover letter templates and examples can also give you inspiration in terms of the key messages that you should include, and the type of language you should use. They also give you tips on correct formatting, and the types of formalities that you can incorporate.
- The purpose of a cover letter is to convince the hiring manager that your unique CV is worth reading. That means that your cover letter needs to be unique, personalised and tailored. If you use a template or an existing example, there is a chance your cover letter could be perceived as being generic, and you won’t be as convincing as you need to be.
- If you use a cover letter template that you have downloaded from the internet, there is a chance that someone else might have used the same template. It is hard to stand out if your cover letter looks exactly the same as someone else’s.
Let us help you find the right job
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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How to write a great stand out Cover Letter
Our Job Search Coach Jannie Allen shares her insider tips.
"The cover letter is a claim for the role – it is your chance to highlight and match your experience against the job description and to clearly state what you can offer your potential employer.
It is a targeted single-page document to the person who advertised the position. It is often your first point of contact with an employer/recruiter to get them interested in reading your CV and interviewing you."
Your Cover Letter should show:
- Why you are interested in the role - Your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments - Evidence that you have researched the company and that you would be a good fit.
Structuring the Cover Letter:
Before you start the main part of the letter, write your mobile number, email address and Skype ID at the top left-hand side of the letter. Follow this by the date and then write Re: followed by the title of the job you are applying for and a reference number if it’s provided. Check the listing carefully as this reference is often at the end of the ad. Then follow with a greeting, addressing the person by name (if at all possible).
Open with a strong statement giving the reason you are applying for the position.
What you have you been doing, relevant to the role you are applying for. Be skills/achievements focused and focused on what you can bring to the company rather than what the company can do for you.
What kind of person are you (hint: mention your qualities which are aligned to the role)
Your motivation for wanting to settle in NZ and why you want to live in that particular area. Invite the reader to contact you if they have any questions about your application.
Writing the Cover Letter:
If a contact person is mentioned in the listing, it is recommended that you make a connection, preferably by phoning them, so that you can introduce yourself and ask some questions about the role. That way your application will stand out.
In conclusion, in your cover letter you need to present a strong case for the best matched skills and experience against the job description.
Never send out a generic letter as this is one way to communicate that you have not tried to research the role or the company, and that you are not genuinely interested.
Read more about job searching in NZ:
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Anna was worth her weight in gold---she was fantastic at helping me format my CV and search for jobs that suited my skill set. In the end, I got a great job in a great city. Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same. I'd recommend them highly.
The great work done before has surely helped to achieve this quick positive result. NZIC are really professional and know what to do when to do it and how to do it. That is so convenient and efficient! I’m still working with them for the next steps and would like to thank them again for their help and support. Thank you. Kind Regards.
NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I'm very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.
Dear Jannie, just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me!
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Home Cover Letter Help What Is a Cover Letter?
What Is a Cover Letter?
Most jobs require you to submit a cover letter with your application. But what exactly is a cover letter? Read on to learn what a cover letter is, what you need to include in yours, and all about the different types of cover letters.
Your resume shows employers your relevant work experience, skills, and education. But they also want to know about your career, accomplishments, and what motivates you. That’s where your cover letter comes in.
Cover Letter Definition
A cover letter is a one-page document that you include in a job application (along with your resume ). Your cover letter should introduce you to an employer, and give them additional information about your qualifications and character.
The goal of a cover letter is to convince employers that you’re interested in and qualified for a job. Your cover letter is also a great place to provide additional details about your work history, skills, or life situation to a prospective employer.
When written well, your cover letter provides important information that your resume isn’t able to communicate.
Still unclear on what a cover letter is, how to write a cover letter , or which types of cover letters exist? Don’t worry — we have a variety of resources to help you learn everything you need to know and put together the perfect cover letter:
- Cover letter examples
- How to start a cover letter
- Cover letter format
- How to address a cover letter
Example cover letter for a job application
Not sure what a cover letter is supposed to look like? Here’s a simple cover letter example written by a mid-level candidate:
What should I include in a cover letter for a job?
Here’s a quick look at what to include in a cover letter for a job:
- Contact information – List your name and contact details in your cover letter header , followed by the hiring manager’s name and contact details.
- Salutation – Greet the hiring manager ideally with their preferred honorific (Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. / Dr. / etc.) and their name. Can’t find their name? “Dear Hiring Manager” is acceptable.
- Opening paragraph – In your cover letter’s first paragraph, formally greet the hiring manager. Introduce yourself, and explain how you found the job posting.
- Body paragraph(s) – Provide information about your previous work experience, and how it’s relevant to the job. Also use this space to list details about your professional accomplishments and skills.
- Closing paragraph – In your closing paragraph, restate your interest in the position, and thank the hiring manager for their time.
- Sign-off – End your cover letter with a sign-off like “Sincerely,” and then sign your name below.
To illustrate, here’s an example of a cover letter with each section outlined:
Types of cover letters used in 2023
Your cover letter is the most versatile part of your job application. You can use each section to showcase your personality, argue why you’re the best person for the role, and even explain unique circumstances (if you have any).
The content and style of your cover letter depend on your work history, level of experience, and the kind of job you’re applying for.
While your cover letter can be rewritten to fit any scenario, there are several common types of cover letters. These include:
- General cover letters
- Internal position cover letters
- Career change cover letters
- Scholarship cover letters
- Creative cover letters
1. General cover letter
A general cover letter focuses broadly on your work experience and skills so that you can easily modify it for each job you apply for.
Think of the general cover letter as your default cover letter .
Applying for a range of jobs in a similar industry and already have consistent work experience? A general cover letter is perfect because it presents a straightforward overview of your qualifications and accomplishments and can be quickly modified based on where you’re applying.
2. Cover letter for an internal position
A cover letter for an internal position is what you submit to your employer if you’re applying for a different position within your current organization.
For example, if you’re applying for a promotion or want to transfer departments, you might need to write an internal cover letter to formally apply for the new position.
A cover letter for an internal position differs from a regular cover letter because it doesn’t include a formal introduction (your company already knows you). Instead, it focuses on your commitment to the company you currently work for , and your specific accomplishments while working there.
3. Career change cover letter
Making a major change in your career? You’ll need to write a career change cover letter to communicate your situation to employers and convince them that you’re worth hiring.
A career change cover letter is different from other types of cover letters because it focuses on your transferable skills and your reasons for changing careers rather than your chronological work history.
4. Scholarship cover letter
Many scholarships require you to submit a scholarship cover letter along with your other application materials.
Writing a cover letter for a scholarship gives you the opportunity to highlight your:
- Commitment to your education
The goal of such a cover letter is to ultimately convince scholarship committees that you deserve their assistance.
A scholarship cover letter differs from a standard cover letter because it targets your future ambitions and educational achievements rather than your work experience.
5. Creative cover letter
Need to stand out from other applicants? A creative cover letter can help you grab the attention of employers using humor, design, or a unique detail.
Creative cover letters differ from a general cover letter by featuring some kind of unique joke, a casual writing style, or an interesting design approach. They can be as serious or as casual as is appropriate for the job.
However, you should only use a creative cover letter if you’re applying to a company that you know has a casual work culture and will respond positively to a less traditional job application.
Why including a cover letter with your resume is important
Still wondering “ are cover letters even necessary in 2023? ”
Including a cover letter in your job application is essential in a variety of situations. For example, you should always write a cover letter if:
- The job advertisement requests that you submit a cover letter
- Someone at the company suggested you include them in your cover letter as a referral
- The job you’re applying for requires writing skills
However, even if the job you want doesn’t require a cover letter, you should still write one when possible.
Including a well-written cover letter in your job application helps you stand out from other candidates. It can even convince an employer that you’re the right person for the job – even if your resume isn’t 100% what they’re looking for .
Finally, your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to explain your unique situation and qualifications. This much-needed context is something that your resume simply can’t communicate on its own.
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Written by Conrad Benz
Conrad Benz is a Digital Media Specialist & Resume Expert at Resume Genius, where he helps countless job-seekers craft standout resumes and launch their careers. His... more
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how to create a winning cover letter.
Why a cover letter..
A common mistake jobseekers make is spending lots of time on finessing their resumes, only to forget to include a cover letter. As a jobseeker, you should never neglect to include a cover letter. Cover letters are often the single most under-utilised tool in a jobseekers arsenal, and understanding the secrets of how to write a great cover letter is as important as your resume itself.
As much as you may hate the thought of having to write one, your cover letter provides you with the perfect opportunity to summarise specifically what makes you stand out as the number one applicant for the job you are applying for. It is here that you can outline to your potential employer what makes you a great fit for both the role and the company - where you can express your personality and give the hiring manager an idea about you as a real person, not just your skills and expertise. Writing a poor cover letter (or even worse, not writing one at all!) can impact negatively on how your resume is perceived.
in general, cover letters should:
- be tailored to be read specifically by the hiring manager advertising the role
- show that you have read the advertisement carefully, considered it and understand what is required of you as the potential employee
- be concise and well structured, clearly linking your experience with the requirements of the position advertised
- in length, be kept to around 5 paragraphs at most
- be positive and confident, compelling the reader to look at your resume. Speak the language of the hiring manager
- provide a call to action prompting the hiring manager to contact you to arrange an interview
how to write a cover letter
Step 1. who should you address your cover letter to.
Where possible you should always personalise your cover letter - you may be tempted to use a variation on 'To whom it may concern' as your opening line, however there is no better way to show your interest in the organisation than by taking the time to find out who it is that has advertised the role and addressing the letter directly to them. Usually you can find the hiring manager information either directly listed on the job advertisement (usually down the bottom in the 'contact us to apply' section), or if this is left blank, try looking on the company's career page or via your LinkedIn network to ascertain who has advertised the role.
step 2. introduce yourself
Often your cover letter is the first interaction the prospective employer will have with you - well before they open your resume. This is why it is imperative that when writing your cover letter you must introduce yourself and give the employer a sense of who you are and more importantly, why they should hire you for the role. Spend some time highlighting your key experience and take particular care to outline your demonstrated skills and how they mirror the requirements listed in the job description. Showcase how your skills/experience matches what the employer is looking for and what sets you apart from competing applicants. Don't forget to use strong action words and ensure the overall tone of your message is confident.
E.g. "I am writing to apply for your recently advertised role of business development manager in Auckland. Having over 4 years experience working as a Sales Manager in the Financial industry, I believe I am the perfect candidate for your role. As an expert in field sales, I pride myself on my excellent communication & negotiation skills, and in my superior ability to provide tailored solutions to my clients. In your advertisement you mentioned you are looking for someone who is energetic and who can drive sales margins. I am highly personable, cheerful and dynamic and it is my unique personality which really helps me to excel & grow both my portfolio of clients as well as the overall account worth. I am consistently a top performer and I know I would be an asset to your sales team."
step 3. show that you have taken the time to research the company
One of the biggest oversights that people make when they are writing a cover letter is to make it all about themselves, but one of the best ways you can make your job application stand out from the crowd is by really researching the business you are applying with, and peppering your cover letter with information that only a person who is familiar with the company would know.
Visit the company website, and Google for the latest company news. In particular, a good place to start is by looking up the careers page on the website of your potential employer and learning what sets them apart as an employer brand. Familiarise yourself with what the company does and how it talks about itself so that you will be able to mention this in your cover letter, and also during your interview.
E.g.. "I have always admired ABC company and so when I saw your job advertisement I jumped at the chance to apply. Having read an article just the other day about how ABC company is expanding its operations into our western region, I can see how robust your business strategy is, and would love to be a part of this exciting new growth period in your organisation"
step 4: include a call to action
The last note your cover letter must finish on is a strong call to action, inciting the potential employer to look through your resume and to contact you to arrange an interview date/time.
E.g.. "Please see as attached my resume. As you can see by my skills and experience, I believe I would be a perfect fit for your organisation and I would welcome the chance to meet with you and discuss this opportunity further. Please call me on 023 123 123 or email me at [email protected] so that we can arrange a suitable date/time. I look forward to hearing from you soon."
hot tip: don't use one generic cover letter for all your applications
Once you have taken the time to write your first cover letter, it might be tempting to recycle its use for all future job applications - don't do it!
While you might save time in the short term, having a tailored cover letter vs a generic one might be the difference between getting your dream job or losing it because of your oversight.
Your cover letter needs to show that you understand exactly what the employer wants from you as a prospective candidate, and that your skills and expertise match those that the organisation has outlined as requirements in their job advertisement. Since no two job ads are the same, the wording in your cover letters should always reflect these differentiations.
cover letter checklist
Now you know how to write a cover letter, so what are you waiting for - write it.
- Once you have written your first cover letter, read through it thoroughly and use the below checklist to ensure you have included all the essential information required: your name and contact details
- the job title you are applying for
- a brief summary of your skills and experience that match the job description a summary of why you're right for the job
- outline what you know about the company, and why you think you would fit in if you were to become the successful applicant
- a call to action asking the hiring manager to read your resume & to contact you to arrange an interview
common mistakes made when writing a cover letter
Lastly, here is a list of things that you should take into consideration when learning how to write a cover letter:
- Check your cover letter for any typo's or factual errors.
- Always use spell check before you send your cover letter, and if in doubt, get someone you trust to read over the letter and proof it for you.
- Don't cut and paste reams of text from your resume into your cover letter - employers will see straight through this.
- Your cover letter is a way to show your personality, where your resume tends to be more factual, so make sure your tone and wording in your cover letter conveys you as a person, not just your skills and experience.
- Don't make it a 60 page essay! The ideal length of a cover letter is between half and three quarters of an A4 page. Remember that the potential employer reading it does not have all day to scroll through a lengthy letter, so keep it succinct and to the point - you can always direct them to view your resume for further information.
- Don't mention other jobs you may have applied for. Most jobseekers apply for several jobs at a time, however it is important not to mention this in your cover letter - you are trying to convince this company to hire you, so why would they be interested if they know you are looking at other roles as well?
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Looking to start a new adventure in Aotearoa New Zealand? Don't do it alone!
Whether you're looking to get started, or already have your bags packed, our team can help answer any questions you have, no matter what stage you're at - hit the talk to us button in the top-right of the page to get in contact.
Ready to take the next step? Fill out our five-minute form with your details, and someone from our team will follow up and help you find a role. Hit the Register Your Details button in the bottom-right of the page to put yourself forward.
IT'S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO COME HERE AND WORK IN HEALTHCARE
Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand can offer you:
Join our webinars
Hear from our International Recruitment Centre, Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand's Registration Bodies about how to emigrate to New Zealand - these webinars are a unique opportunity to learn about the process from start to finish, directly from the people who process your applications!
Sign up to our upcoming webinars and view videos of our previous ones by clicking the button below.
If you see a role you like, contact our team with a link to the job listing, and we can work with you to get your paperwork in order, or you can apply directly.
Or browse all roles
Job Hunting Tips
We've pulled together some useful information to help you, your partners, and your immediate family find work and tailor your experience to the New Zealand job market.
Job Title Glossary
Job hunting can be difficult if your role is called something different over here, which is why we've pulled together a glossary of names for certain types of roles, and their ANZCO codes to more easily identify them.
CV and Cover Letter tips
New zealand cv/resume tips.
For non-clinical roles, try to keep the CV length to 1-2 pages
For clinical/medical roles, 6-8 pages is OK (or it can be longer if technical medical aspects need explanation)
Some other advice is:
- Tailor your CV to different jobs - the key is making sure your experience and qualifications are easily seen as matching the job
- Use bullet points rather than wordy text
- Use key words from the job description
- Use correct grammar
- Use action words and highlight any achievements or positive changes you made in your workplace
- Use a consistent layout with the same fonts and font sizes
- List non-clinical skills such as management/leadership abilities as they are still important
- List any academic publications related to the position you’re applying to
Medical CV tips (including templates):
General CV tips & examples:
Cover letter tips
- Tailor your cover letter for the different roles you apply to
- Do some research about the role - be seen as having made the effort that shows genuine interest!
- Use an attention-grabbing intro & convey a values alignment (if there is one)
- Provide evidence of your success & achievements
- Spell check and use correct grammar
- Address the cover letter to the wrong person/company by copy and pasting your cover letters
- Repeat your CV
- Give excessive detail (keep it short!)
- Use a generic cover letter for all your applications
If your application is short-listed, you’ll be invited to attend a panel interview with a minimum of two senior staff. Or if you’re based overseas or living outside of New Zealand, not to worry we’re still keen to speak with you and regularly conduct video interviews via various technologies such as Skype, Zoom or Face Time.
Well done for getting to this stage. An interview is a chance for us to learn more about you as well as you to learn about us. Everyone gets nervous, it’s natural. Some of our managers are also anxious, and we’ll do our best to put you at ease.
Our interviews are behavioural and competency based, asking you to call on relevant examples of your prior experience in line with the competencies we’re recruiting for the role. Take some time to prepare some specific work examples to discuss.
Here are some tips to help you prepare and put your best forward in the interview:
- Research the industry and organisation – Learning as much as you can about the organisation you want to work for is very important. Take the time to research the employer's vision, values, culture, strategic objectives, and the area of the organisation you are meeting with from as many sources as you can.
- Re-read your CV and Cover Letter – Think about the skills and experiences that you can bring to the role, why you want the job and why you are the best person for the role.
- Read the job advert and position description - Think of questions the employer may ask related to the competencies and requirements of the position.
- Do an online search for common interview questions - Prepare answers to possible questions. Even if you aren’t asked them, it will help you plan what skills and experiences to highlight. For clinical positions, in particular, there will likely be a range of technical questions as well.
- Behavioural-based questions – One of the most common interview styles today is to ask people to describe experiences they have had that demonstrate behaviours that the company thinks are important for a particular position. The panel will ask questions about previous experiences to find out on how you have handled various work/personal situations in the past. Your responses will reveal your skills, abilities, and personality to the panel. (More information about behavioural based interviewing and STAR technique have been described further below)
- Think about questions for the panel - it’s usual to have questions to ask the employer at the end of the interview. This will also show that you're interested in the organisation and the job.
- Practice your answers - Practicing your answers with family/friends will help you deliver your answers more easily. However, it’s the genuine content of your answers that is the most important aspect rather than an overly polished performance.
- Know who you are meeting – Our interview panel range in size from 2 to 5 people. You will be advised in your interview invitation of the exact number and who they are.
- Stay attentive, be positive, exhibit enthusiasm - It’s natural to feel anxious before an interview. By preparing well and adopting a positive mind-set you can learn to control your pre-interview nerves and channel them into something constructive. Much of the anxiety surrounding interviews is based on not knowing what to expect. If you know you’re well prepared, you’ll feel a lot more confident.
Behavioural interviewing is an increasingly popular type of job interview, where an interviewee is asked to draw on lived experience and provide real life examples from their past employment of specific situations relating to the relevant job competencies. The rationale is that past performance is predictive of future performance i.e. if they know how you performed in the past it will help give a sense of how you might do in the future and also gives you an opportunity to talk about your learnings from the past.
Examples of Behavioural questions:
- Tell me about your greatest career achievement to date. Can you describe what steps led to the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you had to analyse information to solve a problem. How did you go about doing it, and what was the result?
- Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it.
- Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it?
- Tell me about a time when you haven’t achieved what you set out to do. How did you deal with it?
- Give me an example where you’ve had to work with someone who you didn’t get along with.
- How did you approach and resolve the situation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when the demands of your job were constantly changing? How did you manage the situation?
The best behavioural interview strategy includes listening carefully, being clear and detailed when you respond and, most importantly, being honest. It is absolutely fine to ask the interviewer if your response answered the question adequately or if they need more detail or another example.
The STAR method is a simple yet powerful technique for answering behavioural interview questions in a structured manner by providing a real example of a specific situation, the task, actions taken, and result or outcome relating to that example.
- S ituation: An event, project, or challenge faced
- T ask: Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation
- A ction: Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation
- R esult: Results of actions taken
When answering the questions using the STAR approach, use the first person singular - “I did such-and-such” rather than “we did such-and-such” - it will keep the focus on you!
Jobs for Partners and Family
If your partners or children want to look for roles, the Careers.govt.nz Job Vacancy and Recruitment Websites page has an list of hundreds of job sites in the geographical and work areas available.
For teaching roles:
Teachers from overseas looking to move to New Zealand, can now get help with the recruitment process by contacting the Ministry of Education’s new Navigator service. The service is designed to support overseas teachers, along with principals and early learning centre managers, navigate the steps needed to be completed in the overseas teacher recruitment process. Navigators are available Monday – Friday, 9am – 4.30pm by phone on 0800 165 225 or +64 4 463 8466 or via email at [email protected] .
Find out more information about teaching in New Zealand by visiting the Teach in Aotearoa New Zealand website .
For Rail and Maritime roles:
KiwiRail moves freight and people by rail and sea, and are stewards of New Zealand’s rail network. As a state-owned enterprise, we operate a rail, ferry, property and tourism business and look for talent in Freight and Rail Operations, Engineering, Construction Project Management, Maritime, Electrical and hospitality.
Find out more information, visit careers.kiwirail.co.nz
For other roles and industries:
Immigration NZ has a great page that helps you find work using services designed to connect offshore workers with employers, and job sites to you can apply to directly.
For more information, visit the Immigration NZ Website
FIND YOUR NEW HOME
Aotearoa New Zealand has ranked second on the Global Peace Index for two years in a row , and has never been outside of the top five since the index launched in 2009.
Whether you like the big city, the beach, the mountains, or all of the above - we have a broad range of places to call home.
Wherever you pick, you're never far away from nature.
Find out more information about what part of our beautiful country is the best fit for you.
Te Tai Tokerau | Northland
Te Toka Tumai | Auckland
Auckland the "City of Sails" is Aotearoa, New Zealand’s largest city and commercial hub. It’s where metropolitan sophistication meets breath taking natural beauty. Auckland is filled with a variety of warm and welcoming communities, packed with new places to explore.
Te Whatu Ora - Counties Manukau serves as a major source of employment within the Counties Manukau area, with over 8,000 individuals being employed across the region.
Hauora a Toi | Bay of Plenty
Tairāwhiti | Gisborne
Taranaki is a magical place with a majestic mountain at its heart, including the rugged coastline that's world-renowned for its surf. Its residents' love of art and culture, cafes and outdoor living mean it's also fantastic to work—and play!
Te Matau a Māui | Hawke's Bay
Whanganui has something for everyone. Our centrally located region offers access to outdoor activities such as kayaking, skiing, surfing, tramping, cycling, fishing and hunting. Nestled between two snow-capped mountains, on the banks of Whanganui River there is always plenty to do and explore.
Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley
Wellington, the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand, is a bustling and diverse hub of culture and cosmopolitanism, renowned for its lively cafés, restaurants, and internationally acclaimed sporting and cultural events, all set against the stunning backdrop of a natural harbour. To the north of Wellington lie the regions of Porirua, Kapiti, and Hutt Valley.
Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua | MidCentral
Get the best of both worlds - the perfect blend of rural and city living with the mountains, city and sea at your fingertips.
Located in Masterton in the Wellington Region, Te Whatu Ora Wairarapa is one of the smaller hospitals in the country with 89 inpatient beds providing comprehensive health services throughout the Wairarapa District.
Te Tai o Poutini | West Coast
Te Tai o Poutini /West Coast has views of both the mountain ranges and the ocean! It is an untamed natural wilderness of beautiful rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures.
Waitaha | Canterbury
The Canterbury region is a great place to live and work due to its natural beauty, vibrant economy, cultural diversity, strong community, and high quality of life.
Well known for its beautiful natural scenery, which includes towering mountains, stunning fjords, majestic glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. The region is also famous for its friendly communities, charming towns, and vibrant cities such as Dunedin and Invercargill.
Here is some more information you may find useful to read through before arriving in Aotearoa New Zealand
For certain Te Whatu Ora roles, we offer a relocation package that covers the cost of:
- Payment of costs for shipping of household goods
- One-way economy travel fare, plus one night's accommodation for a layover for you, your partner, and any children under the age of 19 who will live with you.*
- Airport transfers to your accommodation on arrival in New Zealand.
- Up to 4 weeks paid temporary accommodation while we help you find a place to live
- Up to 4 weeks of car rental costs.
For an individual to be eligible for relocation assistance, all of the following criteria must be met:
- You currently live outside of New Zealand.
- You have been offered employment after 21 November 2022.
- This direction does not replace existing contractual arrangements that the employee might be entitled to (e.g. RMOs coming to New Zealand from an Australian placement as part of an approved Australasian training programme).
- You are to be employed in a full time permanent position or to a full time fixed-term contract of no less than 12 months duration.
- A bond agreement is entered into at the time of employment.
* The cost of one night’s accommodation for a layover will be covered if your flights require a layover to reach New Zealand, and one flight is longer than 12 hours.
If someone leaves Te Whatu Ora before completing 12 months of employment, they are required to pay all relocation costs back, regardless of the amount of time they have worked.
Funding for Nurses
IQN CAP Fund - You can get up to $10,000 NZD in funding if you need to take a Competency Assessment Programme to become registered to practice in New Zealand. More information is available on Te Whatu Ora's IQN Cap Fund page.
Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund - If you are an Internationally-Qualified Nurse that's currently working in New Zealand as a Health Care Assistant, you may be eligible for up to $5,000 to get your Annual Practising Certificate.
GETTING REGISTERED TO PRACTICE
Your profession may require New Zealand registration and an Annual Practicing Certificate. If so, this will be needed before you can start work and will also be required for your visa application.
In New Zealand some health professionals are also registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA). Not all health professions are regulated under the Act although this does not imply that a profession lacks professional standards. Some are not regulated because they pose little risk of harm to the public; some are not regulated because they work under the supervision of a regulated profession; some are regulated in other ways. For example, they may be regulated through their employer or self-regulated by their profession.
Processing times for registration applications can vary so check the processing times directly with your registration board and plan ahead.
Links to New Zealand Registration Bodies
- Chiropractic Board
- Dental Council
- Dietitians Board
- Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand
- Medical Radiation Technologists Board
- Medical Council of New Zealand
- Midwifery Council
- Nursing Council of New Zealand
- Occupational Therapy Board
- Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board
- Osteopathic Council
- Paramedic Council
- Pharmacy Council
- Physiotherapy Board
- Podiatrists Board
- Psychologists Board
- Psychotherapists Board
Internationally qualified nurses may be required to complete a Competency Assessment Programme in order to gain their New Zealand registration. Find more information on the Pathway for health professionals to nursing jobs in New Zealand here.
All health professionals are in high demand and there are several visa pathways available. For an overview of visa pathways for health professionals and their families, visit the Immigration NZ website .
To find out if the role you want to work in is on the Green List, use Immigration NZ's Green List tool for more information.
To learn more about what other visa options are available to you, visit Immigration NZ's Visa Options page.
We also offer free immigration advice for health professionals with complex visa needs - feel free to talk to our team directly , and we can help.
AOTEAROA'S MĀORI CULTURE
Our health system is a partnership between Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand , who work to support all New Zealanders to live better and longer, and Te Aka Whai Ora | Māori Health Authority which is changing how the entire health system understands and responds to the health and wellbeing needs of our Māori population.
The two organisations are working together to ensure that Māori voices are heard in decision-making that affects Māori. This has not happened in the past and has meant that our Māori population has been disadvantaged for decades as a result.
When you join Te Whatu Ora’s health workforce you will be playing an important role in ensuring that our health system better serves the needs of all Aotearoa New Zealand’s people and communities.
To help you in this work, you will receive cultural competency training and complete learning modules on the subject as part of Te Whatu Ora’s orientation process.
Outside of work, Māori culture is celebrated in all aspects of life, from the use of te reo (the Māori language) as one of New Zealand’s official languages, to the celebration of Matariki – Māori New Year .
To understand more about Aotearoa New Zealand's Māori culture, we have some resources:
Learning te reo:
- Learn Maori (languagedrops.com)
- Āke Āke app: App Store | Google Play Store
- Aki-Hauora app – te reo lessons for medical terms: App Store | Google Play Store
- Te Reo pronunciation guide and basic phrases
Addressing systemic racism in the health system:
- Mana Tangata - Treating everyone with dignity
- Ao Mai Te Rā: The Anti-Racism Kaupapa Podcast
Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) and its history:
BEFORE YOU FLY
Before you fly.
There’s a broad range of locations in Aotearoa New Zealand to call home. If you haven’t already, use our interactive map to find an area of the country you’d like to live in.
Once you’ve chosen a location, you may want to check out a list of schools , accommodation and transport options in your preferred locations.
We have some further information for you to help with the decision.
Cost of living
Immigration NZ has a c ost of living calculator that can help you get an idea of what your income and expenses could be.
Shipping of belongings
We have strict rules about what can be brought into Aotearoa New Zealand . The government provides advice about how to avoid problems with border clearance .
Aotearoa New Zealand requires that all pets comply with the Ministry of Primary Industries standards . If you want to bring your pet with you on your trip, you must check the specific requirements relating to imports from your country of origin. Please also note that not all rental properties accept pets.
Moving to a new country can be stressful and costly. You may wish to look into you insurance options to cover yourself for the unexpected.
Buying or renting a house
House ownership: Use the “ Help us assess if you can buy a house to live in “ tool to determine if you can buy a house in Aotearoa New Zealand.
How to rent a house: The rental market in Aotearoa New Zealand is regulated by the government under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. If you are renting for the first time you will need to sign an agreement with the landlord and pay a bond for up to four weeks rent in advance. The bond is lodged with the governments Tenancy Services. At the end of the tenancy, you will receive your bond back minus any damage's costs or unpaid rent. Aotearoa protects long term tenancies. Rules about changing the terms of the tenancy agreement are available on tenancy.govt.nz's changes to notice periods page .
You can open a bank account here before you travel but will need to visit a branch to activate it once you arrive – this can be done with through most major banks in Aotearoa New Zealand .
You need a visa that allows you to stay in the country for some time such as a work, residence, or student visa. You may wish to provide the bank with a reference letter from your current bank which incudes a credit score or rating. Te Whatu Ora can provide you with a letter of a confirmed work address to speed up the process.
To open a bank account you will need the following:
- An identify document – NZ ID or passport
- Proof of address – could be your current overseas address but will need to provide a permanent address in Aotearoa
- A NZ IRD (Internal Revenue Department) number – if you don’t have one yet, you can use your tax number or tax declaration from your country of origin
- Proof of your visa – could be work, residence, or student visa
All personal income is taxed. If you are a New Zealand tax resident, you will need to pay income tax on all income you receive from New Zealand and overseas. You can use a calculator to work out what tax you will pay in Aotearoa. You will need to have an IRD number before you can start.
Kiwisaver is a savings scheme, administered by the NZ government, to help people save for their retirement. Kiwisaver is currently only available to NZ residents, permanent residents or citizens, but if you are eligible, Te Whatu Ora will make deductions to the IRD who pass your contribution to the Kiwisaver provider.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
You can apply for an IRD number as soon as you arrive – this is similar to a Social Security, SIN, or National Insurance number. You can easily apply online through the IRD numbers for individuals page on the Inland Revenue website.
Getting connected to phone and internet plans
A variety of companies provide internet and phone connections. Immigration NZ provides advice about how to get connected once you arrive.
Getting a driver’s licence
If you are planning to drive in New Zealand, it’s important to get to know the New Zealand road rules. Driving on your overseas driver’s licence is usually acceptable for the first 12 months, but following this you will need to convert it to a New Zealand driver’s licence. You can find out more information on Waka Kotahi’s Driving in New Zealand page .
There is a network of public libraries across Aotearoa. You and your family are welcome to visit in person, or download e-books and audio books online with your menbership.
Use of the English language
The English language lexicon has become highly advanced in Aotearoa New Zealand. We suggest becoming familiar with how certain words are used.
There are 11 public holidays each year.
General dental care for people over 18 years is not funded by the government in New Zealand. Basic dental care for eligible school children is free up to 18 years of age.
Dentists are distributed across Aotearoa.
Accident Compensation Corporation
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we fund healthcare differently. The Accident Compensation Corporation provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for New Zealanders and visitors. ACC is funded by the government and the NZ public.
As a clinician, you can lodge claims on behalf of your patients. You must check with your manager about how to lodge a claim in Te Whatu Ora.
ACC provides general information about the scheme for clinicians. ACC provides a series of options for clinicians to learn more about the scheme, and claims. Online learning. Foundational webinars .
Cole’s Medical Practice in NZ gives practical advice to doctors in New Zealand (whether international or NZ medical graduates). The Goodfellow unit has resources about certifying work capacity after injury.
Ambulance and Fire: For emergencies, dial 111
Police: Dial 111 - For emergencies (if something is happening now or has just happened, or if you or someone’s safety is at risk). For non-urgent things that you think the NZ Police should know, dial 105 .
Accident and Emergency services: All public hospitals have an emergency department. Accident and emergency centres (urgent care centres) are available for out of hours emergencies in most locations .
Coastguard: For emergencies, dial 111
National Crisis and National Emergency Management: The NZ government has established agencies to lead local teams to deal with disasters and other emergencies.
Family support services: The Strengthening Families process connects a family who require assistance with more than one agency or community service when a family needs help. All families need help from time to time. Find support wherever you are living in Aotearoa. The health pages provide links to health services.
Domestic Violence Support: Domestic violence help can be accessed in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Counselling services: The NZ Association of Counsellors provides a list of qualified counsellors. Note that payment may be required. Child Abuse and Youth Services: You can report suspected abuse to Oranga Tamariki . Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) is a government department. If you need help phone 0508 326 459 or email [email protected] . If you or someone else is in immediate danger call POLICE on 111. Kidshealth provides a list of various helplines for individuals and families.
Services for people with disabilities : An acceptable standard of health is required whether moving to Aotearoa temporarily or as a resident. There are a variety of providers of services for people with disabilities. Te Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People’s website contains useful links for people with disabilities.
Enrolling children at school
You can enrol your child in school before they’re 5, though they won’t start until they turn 5 and must have started by the time they are 6. Children must stay at school until they turn 16 years of age. Parents may apply to educate children at home .
If you have children, and have a school in mind, you may need to live within the school zone for them to be able to successfully enrol.
Early childhood education (ECE) provides education and care for children before they are old enough to go to primary school. It is not compulsory. For three to four year olds, the first 20 hours per week are fully funded by the government. Most children in Aotearoa (95%) get some form of early childhood education , usually for 20-22 hours a week. The Ministry of Education provides practical information about education for parents and carers .
HEAR FROM THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THE MOVE
"the opportunities we've had in our careers have surpassed our expectations".
Wendy, an ICU educator at Dunedin Hospital talks about her move from Liverpool in the UK to Dunedin, New Zealand and the positive effect it has had on her career and family.
"DON'T WAIT AROUND FOR IT, JUST DO IT!"
Sara is a midwife, and moved from the UK to Invercargill with her family - hear more about what life has been like for her, and what it's been like to work as a midwife in Aotearoa New Zealand.
"YOU CAN SKI AND SURF ON THE SAME DAY"
Brad is a Consultant Emergency Physician moved from Kansas, USA to Taranaki. Find out what made him fall in love with Aotearoa New Zealand.
HEAR FROM OUR CRITICAL CARE NURSES
If you work in healthcare, and want to move to Aotearoa New Zealand, use our form to leave your details. No matter where you are, or what stage of the process you're at, our team can help you.
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Insights > Articles
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
Cover letter template 1: response to a job ad, cover letter template 2: response to a job ad, cover letter template 3: letter to a recruiter on linkedin, cover letter template 4: ‘cold contact’ prospecting letter to a hiring manager.
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Covering Letter Templates
Click on a cover letter template, fill it online and download in seconds. Build a professional cover letter in just a few clicks. Pick one of 18+ cover letter templates below, add ready-made content and get the job.
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Classic cover letter template in a one column layout
Two-column cover letter template with contact information highlighted on the right
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Elegant cover letter template with a single column classic feel
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Two-column cover letter template with a neat structure
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Best cover letter templates for any situation.
A cover letter for a job application or CV is a brief presentation of your experience and skills in narrative form. The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight the most important information from your CV and add extra reasons why you should be hired. It’s all about looks and content. And Zety will help with both.
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Fill in any of these professional cover letter templates with help from our app. Simply tell the wizard a few things about yourself, and get a complete cover letter sample in a few clicks. Stop worrying about every word and focus on what matters, your future job.
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Don’t ignore your cover letter. Around 20–50% of recruiters expect you to write one even if they don’t read it. Writing a cover letter from scratch feels like a chore, but it doesn’t have to. You can create a cover letter for the job of your dreams in minutes. Employers will recognise you for who you are, the ideal candidate.
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How to write a cover letter for your first job in New Zealand (with templates)
Writing a great cover letter for your first job can be tough. But these tips will get you on the right track.
What you’ll learn:
- What are cover letters?
- The importance of cover letters
- Tips for creating your first cover letter
So, you’re wondering how to write a cover letter for your first job.
Good on you.
In New Zealand, these documents aren’t optional extras on top of a CV – they’re a vital part of showing you’re the right person for the job. By submitting one, you’re putting yourself on the front foot, which is what successful job hunting is all about.
However, first cover letters aren’t easy – especially if you lack experience. To help, we’ve created this step-by-step guide on what to include, where and why. Let’s get cracking. We’ve also got a sample cover letter you can download and use for yourself when applying for jobs.
Writing an entry level cover letter doesn't have to be stressful.
What are cover letters?
A cover letter is a document you submit along with your CV when you apply for a job. In New Zealand, cover letters should be no longer than one page, and should aim to highlight your interest in the job, as well as why you’re the right person in terms of your previous skills and experience.
Why are cover letters important?
You might be asking yourself, ‘why do I need to submit a cover letter as well as a CV?”. Well, the two documents should complement each other, and neither is effective in isolation as they are together.
On a CV, you should present your key skills and experience in short snappy bullet points that are easy for the reader to digest. A cover letter provides you the space to expand upon your CV, and the first opportunity for the hiring manager to get a handle on who you are and what you’re about. For this reason, you need to make sure that your cover letter underlines your most attractive skills and experiences so that there’s no way the reader will miss them.
In addition, unlike a CV, which should be entirely focussed on you, a cover letter needs to explain why you’re interested in the job, and the company advertising it. Importantly, employers don’t just want to hear how skilled you are, they also want to know that you’re looking for more than just a salary. In other words, you need to explain why this role/organisation speaks to you, and why you want to work there, as opposed to simply anyone who will offer you a job.
What’s more, a cover letter in itself shows interest. Anyone can keep the same CV on file and throw it in to any employer who’s advertising a job. However, a cover letter is more personal, and employers know they take longer to write. Therefore, if you only submit a CV, and someone submits a CV and a cover letter, guess who looks more interested from the employer’s perspective?
Tips for creating your first cover letter
1. your details.
You’ll probably submit your cover letter online, but still format it like a real letter. This means starting with:
- Your full name, contact details and home address
- The date you submit the application
- The business’ postal address
Start your cover letter like this.
Top tip : Don’t put this info into a document’s header. Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to initially scan cover letters for important details, and sometimes this software can’t read headers.
2. Introduce yourself
You should address the cover letter to a real person. This is an important personal touch that can help you stand out, and the hiring manager’s or recruiter’s name is usually given in the job listing.
If there’s no name given, check the company’s staff page and find someone (like a department head) to address it to. Even if this isn’t bang on, it shows you made the effort.
As a last resort, ‘Dear Hiring Manager’, will do the trick.
Now, there are several ways you can start your cover letter . The style you choose will largely depend on your personality, and the role you’re going for – e.g. an application for a graphic design role can probably be more creative than one for a dentist’s assistant. However, any good intro will include:
- The job title – Note: make sure you capitalise it
- Where you saw it
- A snappy one liner describing yourself
- A teaser of what you would bring to the role to get them interested
Example 1 :
“Dear Kohia Smith,
I’m writing to apply for the reporter role you’re currently listing on Trade Me Jobs. I’m a recent communications graduate with an interest in community news and digital-first reporting. I’d love to join your team and find stories that will engage and grow your readership.”
Example 2 :
“Dear Richard Hall,
I’m really excited about the Labourer position you’re currently listing on Trade Me Jobs. I’m a hard-working and highly motivated high-school graduate, keen to begin a trades career. I’d love the opportunity to join your team and develop my skills.”
Personalise your cover letter by addressing it to a real person.
3. Your skills, qualifications and attributes
Don’t worry, you can write this section of your cover letter with no experience in the field you’re applying for.
Here, you can include:
- Uni or highschool qualifications
- Volunteer experience, unpaid internships, temporary summer jobs
- Personal qualities that make you a great fit for the role
Whatever you go with, make sure to:
- Be specific
- Tie it back to the role’s requirements
“My BA in Communications Studies gave me a firm grounding in media ethics and law, and also taught me how to find, research and publish stories across platforms ranging from print to social.
I built on this with work experience at NEWSPAPER NAME last summer. As well as shadowing their reporters, I sat in on production meetings to learn how the editors decided which stories to pursue, and what formats they thought were most appropriate”.
“Holiday work in my local Four Square means I’m used to completing long shifts, remaining professional and proactive throughout. This job also emphasised communication, teamwork and problem-solving to make sure the store always met customer expectations.
I’m also physically fit, as I train with my rugby team twice a week and play a match every weekend. On top of this, I have a full, clean driver’s licence and my own transport”.
If you’re struggling to decide what skills or qualifications are most relevant to the position, a good first step is creating a Trade Me Job Profile . This tool can create a template CV based on your experiences and qualifications, which you can use as inspo for your cover letter. What’s more, Trade Me Job Profiles allow employers to approach you with opportunities you haven’t found.
Here are some tips on what Kiwi bosses want from new employees.
4. Why you’re a great fit
By now, the reader knows what you bring to the table, so it’s time to seal the deal.
You can approach this section by:
- Showing passion for their business or industry: only do this if you can make it genuine. Hint: saying you’ve always dreamt of working for a local cafe is a tad unbelievable (even if it’s true).
- Showing your eagerness to learn: this is great for entry level cover letters. Attitude goes a long way, and employers love enthusiasm and ambition.
- Talk about your values: companies today are very values driven. Showing your personal principles align with theirs suggests you’ll be a good fit.
“I now want to take my skills and experience into a fast-paced, 21st century news environment. As a longtime reader of NEWSPAPER NAME, I admire your commitment to balanced storytelling, and the way you’ve adapted to the digitalisation of news reporting,”
“The role appeals to me because I see lots of opportunities to gain new technical skills, due to the wide variety of commercial and residential projects the company takes on. I’m also keen to develop my interpersonal skills, as this is crucial to my long term ambition of managing a team of labourers in the future.”
5. End with a call to action
What do you want from your application? A job interview .
This final section is where you confidently (but politely) prompt the reader to get in touch and set up the next step.
“I believe I have the skills and experience needed to hit the ground running in this role, and I would be thrilled to join your team. Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to hearing from you.
“I believe my past experience, attitude, and willingness to learn would make me a great fit for this role, and I would be thrilled to join your team. Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to hearing from you.
And voila, one cover letter.
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A good cover letter intro is like a good espresso – short, sharp and energising. Here’s how to brew one of your own.
Along with your CV, a cover letter is essential to any NZ job application. Let's get you started.
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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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Fill in the blanks, choose a template and download your cover letter in minutes.
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Cover letter basics Your cover letter needs to show: why you are interested in the job how your skills and experience match the job why an employer should read your CV. Remember to: check your cover letter for spelling and grammar send your cover letter as a Word document also copy your cover letter into the message box of the email.
What is a cover letter? A cover letter is usually the first point of contact a candidate has with a prospective employer for a job application. It is usually sent accompanying a resume or CV as a way of introduction.
Your cover letter is a reflection of you and will indicate to the hiring manager if it's worth their time to read your resume, so ensure that you've revised what you've written. Use spell check and double check that your formatting is correct and consistent.
The cover letter is the letter to the publisher, convincing them why they should read your manuscript. It's the opportunity for you to make a connection and to convince them that your book - or the story of your career - is worth reading. Some employers specifically request a cover letter.
A cover letter, also known as an application letter, is a document you send with your resume that provides additional information about skills and experiences related to the job you're applying to. It typically includes three to four paragraphs that highlight your skills, experience and achievements in relation to the position you're applying for.
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.
Cover Letters Careers NZ resources. How to write a cover letter Cover letter templates. What is a cover letter? A cover letter is an introduction that accompanies your CV. Often, this first part of the application that an employer will read. It gives you a chance to introduce yourself, express your interest in the job, and explain why you're an ...
"The cover letter is a claim for the role - it is your chance to highlight and match your experience against the job description and to clearly state what you can offer your potential employer. It is a targeted single-page document to the person who advertised the position.
A cover letter is a one-page document that you include in a job application (along with your resume ). Your cover letter should introduce you to an employer, and give them additional information about your qualifications and character. The goal of a cover letter is to convince employers that you're interested in and qualified for a job.
step 4: include a call to action. The last note your cover letter must finish on is a strong call to action, inciting the potential employer to look through your resume and to contact you to arrange an interview date/time. E.g.. "Please see as attached my resume. As you can see by my skills and experience, I believe I would be a perfect fit for ...
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.
Cover letter tips. Do: Tailor your cover letter for the different roles you apply to; Do some research about the role - be seen as having made the effort that shows genuine interest! ... In New Zealand some health professionals are also registered health practitioners under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA). Not all ...
CVs and cover letters. We've got great templates and advice for writing your CV or cover letter, and filling out job applications. Help with work costs. Get help to pay for the things you need to start work. Job support and advice. Get all the support and advice you need to stay in work. Health and disability
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 cover letter for a job application or CV is a brief presentation of your experience and skills in narrative form. The purpose of a cover letter is to highlight the most important information from your CV and add extra reasons why you should be hired. It's all about looks and content. And Zety will help with both. Create a Cover Letter Now
Tips for creating your first cover letter. 1. Your details. You'll probably submit your cover letter online, but still format it like a real letter. This means starting with: Your full name, contact details and home address. The date you submit the application. The business' postal address. Start your cover letter like this.
Tips: 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.
Download your cover letter. Easily download your cover letter and edit afterwards. Excellent platform with everything you need as a jobseeker. Intuitive tool that guides you through the process of creating a CV with customisable sections. A comprehensive platform with resources and tools for producing high-quality CVs and cover letters.
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