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COVER LETTER EVALUATION QUIZ, TIPS AND TEMPLATES

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on creating an impactful cover letter. Dive into our expert tips and cover letter templates to make your job application stand out in 2024. Let us turn your cover letter into a compelling story of your professional journey.

You're close to the finish line in your job hunt! You've polished your resume to perfection.

You've identified the most appealing job advertisements that suit your next career step.

You've even rehearsed every conceivable interview question with a friend.

Just as you are about to submit your application, you realise a cover letter is required.

Feeling stuck on how to proceed? Don't worry, we have got your back.

Crafting a cover letter is easier than it appears.

In this guide, we will show you how to create a cover letter that lands you your ideal job. We'll explore:

- The essence of a cover letter and its role in your job hunt
- Step-by-step instructions for writing a persuasive cover letter
- Optimising your cover letter with our free checklist
- Examples of excellent cover letters

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Let us begin with a quick cover letter evaluation quiz! 🎯 Grab one of your recent cover letters and answer the questions below. At the end, your cover letter health will be provided as a percentage.

Let us begin with a quick cover letter evaluation quiz! 🎯

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information:

1. Your First & Last Name?


2. Your Professional Email?


3. Your Mobile Phone Number?


4. Today’s Date?


5. Your Relevant Social Media Profiles? I,e, LinkedIn, GitHub etc.


6. Do you address the right person (i.e., the hiring manager or your future direct supervisor)?


7. Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?


8. Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?


9. Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?


10. Do you successfully convey that you’re the right professional for the job?


11. Did you identify the core requirements of the position?


12. Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?


13. Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?


14. Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?


15. Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?


16. Did you finalise the conclusion with a call to action?


17. Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?


18. Did you proofread your letter, making sure everything is cohesive and grammatically sound?


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    Unlocking the Secrets of a Cover Letter: Why It's Crucial for Your Career Success

    A cover letter is a one-page document accompanying your job application (alongside your CV or Resume).

    It serves to introduce yourself and summarise your professional history. Typically, your cover letter should be between 250 to 400 words.

    An effective cover letter can capture the HR manager’s attention and lead them to your resume.

    A poorly written cover letter, however, could result in your application being disregarded. Thus, knowing how to write a persuasive cover letter is crucial.

    If this is your first time writing a cover letter, it may seem daunting. However do not need to be a skilled writer or particularly creative. Remember, a cover letter complements your resume, it does not replace it. So, avoid merely repeating your resume's content. Just follow this proven format.

    Mastering the Art of the Cover Letter: Your Key to Landing the Job!

    We'll now guide you through writing your cover letter, step by step.

    Step #1 - Choose the Right Cover Letter Template

    First impressions count, and a well-formatted, visually appealing cover letter makes a strong one. Don’t worry, we have made this step as easy as possible for you. Select one of our cover letter templates to apply for your job quickly!

    The Importance of a Well-Crafted Cover Letter Template

    Elevating Your Application with a Strong Cover Letter

    Often, your cover letter holds equal, if not greater, significance compared to your resume. While your resume acts as a key to initially unlock the door to potential opportunities, it is your cover letter that truly opens this door, inviting recruiters to look deeper into your candidacy.

    You've also likely invested considerable time and effort into perfecting your resume. Why not extend the same level of dedication to your cover letter? After all, these two documents work hand-in-hand in showcasing your professional strengths.

    The Power of a Tailored Cover Letter Template

    Utilising a thoughtfully designed cover letter template can make a significant impact. It not only demonstrates your seriousness about the job but also shows attention to detail when your cover letter aesthetically complements your resume. This coherence in design and content helps in creating a memorable and professional impression on the recruiter.

    EXPLORE OUR COVER LETTER COLLECTION FOR YOUR NEXT APPLICATION

    EXPLORE OUR COVER LETTER COLLECTION FOR YOUR NEXT APPLICATION

    Seamlessly Matched Cover Letters

    Achieve a cohesive and professional look for your job application with our Cover Letter templates, designed to perfectly align with our resume templates. Whether you are venturing into the traditional realms of banking or the dynamic world of start-ups, our range of templates lets you customise accordingly.

    DISCOVER OUR COVER LETTER SAMPLES. SELECT A TEMPLATE THAT CATCHES THE EYE!

    Write A Cover Letter That Stands Out

    Minimalist Template

    Our Minimalist Cover Letter Template combines the best elements of the Essential, Simple, and Classic styles to offer a refined, no-frills layout. It's the ideal choice for those seeking a classic, understated style that resonates across most industries. With its clear, concise, and timeless format, this template ensures your qualifications are presented in a straightforward, focused manner. Particularly suited for sectors like banking, legal, and customer service, this template is the epitome of clarity and professionalism. Click here to copy our template and view a sample of a customer service representative.

    Combined/Hybrid/Skill-Centric Template

    The Combined/Hybrid/Skill-Centric Cover Letter Template is specifically designed for career changers and those seeking a balanced representation of skills and experience. It focuses on showcasing your practical skills alongside your professional achievements, perfect for those transitioning into new fields or balancing diverse skill sets. This template enhances your interview prospects by highlighting your comprehensive professional profile in a way that complements your resume, demonstrating your versatility and adaptability. Click here to copy our template and view a sample of how a personal trainer transitioned into a business development role. 

    Universal Template

    The Universal Cover Letter Template stands as a versatile and adaptable choice, designed to fit seamlessly into any job application across a variety of industries. Its flexibility makes it a go-to option for any professional seeking a reliable and universally applicable layout.

    Innovative/Contemporary Template

    Our Innovative/Contemporary Cover Letter Template is a fusion of modern design and functionality. It's crafted for those who appreciate an aesthetically pleasing layout that does not compromise on practicality. This template is perfect for making a strong, stylish impression while maintaining a professional tone. Click here to download our free Innovative/Contemporary Cover Letter Template.

    Executive Template

    Tailored to meet the rigorous standards of today's executive roles, the Executive Cover Letter Template mirrors current recruitment trends and criteria. It's crafted to reflect the sophistication and expertise expected of high-level professionals, ensuring your application stands out in the executive sphere. Click here to download our free Executive Cover Letter Template. 

    Tech-Specific Template

    Designed exclusively for the IT and technology sectors, the Tech-Specific Cover Letter Template ensures your application resonates strongly within these industries. Its custom design focuses on the unique demands and expectations of tech roles, ensuring your cover letter makes a lasting impact.

    Academic Template

    The Academic Cover Letter Template is tailored for students and recent graduates. Ideal for internships and entry-level positions, it emphasises academic achievements and potential, making it a perfect fit for those beginning their professional journey and seeking to make a strong initial impact.

    Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of crafting the perfect cover letter? Relax. Our expert resume writers can review your materials, align your resume and cover letter with the targeted role, and ensure your application stands out.

    First impressions are crucial, so make it count! Click the link below for more information about our complimentary resume review.

    Let us get started with the basics!

     

    Maximise your job application's impact! While a well-crafted cover letter demonstrates your keen interest and alignment with the company, your resume is equally crucial in painting a complete picture of your professional journey. Elevate your application by taking advantage of our complimentary resume review service. Get Your Free Resume Review Here! This no-cost offer provides you with expert insights to refine your resume, ensuring it stands out just as impressively as your cover letter. Don't miss this chance to perfect your application and move closer to your career goals!

     

    Step #2: Crafting an Effective Cover Letter - The Essential Elements

    Tips for personalising your greeting & crafting a dynamic opening.

    Understanding the Essence of a Cover Letter

    Before we dive into how to write your cover letter, it is essential to grasp what a cover letter truly is. A cover letter is a succinct, one-page document that accompanies your resume or CV in your job application. Its role is distinct from that of your resume.

    The Core Objectives of Your Cover Letter

    Your cover letter should achieve several key goals:

    1. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for joining the company.
    2. Highlight the most significant aspects of your professional history.
    3. Clearly illustrate how your past experiences align with the company's needs.

      Distinguishing Your Cover Letter from Your Resume

      It's crucial to understand that your cover letter is not simply a repetition of your resume. While it should touch upon vital elements of your professional background, it should not mirror your resume verbatim. Think of your cover letter as a complementary piece that adds depth and context to your resume.

      The Strategic Role of Your Cover Letter

      Remember, a well-structured cover letter not only showcases your qualifications but also reflects your understanding of the company and your enthusiasm for the role. To ensure your resume is just as impactful, don't miss out on our exclusive offer: Click here for a Free Resume Review! This is your opportunity to have your resume professionally evaluated at no cost, ensuring it complements your cover letter and effectively highlights your strengths and achievements. Take the first step towards making a memorable impression on your potential employers!

      Detailed Breakdown of Each Cover Letter Section

      Detailed Breakdown of Each Cover Letter Section

      Header

      Begin with the date, your name, location, email address, mobile number, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. A comprehensive header ensures that the hiring manager can easily contact you.

      Personalise Your Greeting

      Starting your cover letter with the right salutation is crucial. If you know the hiring manager's full name and title, use it. For instance, “Dear Senior Recruiter - Fiona Smith,” shows that you have taken the time to personalise your letter. This small effort demonstrates your interest in the role and respect for the person who may be your future boss.

      Finding the hiring manager’s name is not just about avoiding the generic (and outdated) “Dear Sir or Madam.” It’s about showing your dedication and enthusiasm for joining their team. Here’s how to find the right person to address:

      - Use LinkedIn: Search for the head of the relevant department. For example, if you are applying for a Communication Specialist role at a Big 4 Bank, the hiring manager is likely the Head of Communications or Chief Communications Officer. A quick LinkedIn search can often yield the right contact.

      - Check the Company Website: Many companies list their team members on their website. Look for the “Team” or “About Us” page to identify the right individual.

      - Alternative Greetings: If your research does not reveal the hiring manager's name, do not worry. Here are several respectful and professional alternatives:

      Department-Specific Greeting: “Dear [Department] Hiring Manager” adds a touch of personalisation even when the exact name is not known.

      General Professional Greeting: “Dear Hiring Manager” is a universally acceptable and professional choice.

      Team-Oriented Greeting: “Dear [Department] Team” conveys a sense of enthusiasm for joining the team.

      Remember, no one wants to feel like they are just one of many recipients in a mass job application effort. Taking the time to properly address your cover letter is a small but significant step in showing your genuine interest in the role and the company. It sets the tone for a respectful and personalised application, increasing your chances of making a positive impact.

      If you need assistance, click here to present both a cover letter that captures your unique value and a resume that effectively showcases your professional journey. Let our experts help you refine your resume, ensuring it aligns seamlessly with your cover letter and positions you as the ideal candidate for your dream job. 

      Craft a Compelling Opening Paragraph

      Craft a Compelling Opening Paragraph

      With recruiters sifting through hundreds of applications, a captivating opening in your cover letter is essential. Your opening paragraph is your first opportunity to engage the hiring manager and stand out among numerous applicants. Therefore, it is crucial to make a strong, memorable impression right from the start. The goal is to immediately grab the reader's attention, steering clear of generic introductions that blend in with the crowd.

      Avoid Common Pitfalls

      Many applicants start their cover letters in a standard, uninspiring way. For example, a typical opening might be:

      "Hello, my name is John, and I'm interested in the Sales Manager position at XYZ Inc. With over five years of experience in a similar role at AnotherCompany Inc., I believe I'm a suitable candidate."

      This approach does not stand out—it merely states the obvious and mirrors what other candidates might say.

      Instead, begin with a dynamic and specific achievement that directly relates to the role you are applying for.

      Here's how you can write an engaging introduction to stand out from the crowd:

      "Dear Hiring Manager,

      As your next Sales Manager, I'm excited to drive XYZ’s sales objective. At FinTech Innovations, I exceeded sales targets, achieving an average monthly revenue of $30K—surpassing key performance indicators by 40%. As such, my track record in sales leadership and in-depth industry knowledge position me as an ideal candidate for this role."

      This revised version immediately showcases your accomplishments and aligns them with the potential employer's needs, setting a strong, engaging tone for the rest of your letter.

      Illustrate Why You're the Ideal Candidate

      In this section, demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you the perfect fit for the job. Before writing, review the job description to understand the key requirements. let us say you are applying for a Facebook Advertiser role, and the job demands the following:

      Experience managing a Facebook ad budget over $10,000/month.

      Proficiency in advertising on other platforms (e.g., Google Search, Twitter).

      Exceptional copywriting skills.

      Address these points directly in your cover letter, using concrete examples from your experience. For instance:

      "In my role as Digital Marketing Specialist at ABC, I managed extensive Facebook advertising campaigns with a monthly budget of $20K. My comprehensive approach encompassed everything from crafting compelling ad copy to meticulous targeting and optimisation across platforms, such as Google Search, Twitter, and Reddit. This hands-on experience makes me well-suited for the Facebook Advertiser position at your company."

      Addressing Different Experience Levels

      If you are a student or recent graduate with limited professional experience, focus on relevant coursework, projects, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate applicable skills and enthusiasm for the field.

      Second Paragraph

      Draw the reader’s attention with 2-3 significant achievements from your current or most recent role. These should be relevant and impactful, demonstrating your competence and success.

      Third Paragraph

      Describe how your values and work ethic align with the company culture. Use additional examples to reinforce your fit and show your understanding of the company’s ethos.

      Formal Closing

      Conclude with a strong closing statement, including asking the reader for an interview for further discussion about the role.

      Wondering what a good cover letter looks like? Here’s an example:

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      Simple Cover Letter Template 

      [Full Name] | [Suburb, State, Postcode] | [Email] | [Mobile] | [LinkedIn/Portfolio Link]

      [Company Name]

      [Department Name]

      [Date]

      Dear [Hiring Manager's Name/Title or “Dear Hiring Manager”],

      Opening Paragraph:

      As a dedicated and results-driven [Your Profession] with over [X] years of experience in [Your Field/Industry], I am excited to apply for the [Position Name] at [Company Name]. My background in [Relevant Experience or Skill] aligns perfectly with the responsibilities of the role.

      Second Paragraph:

      In my current position at [Current Company Name], I successfully [Achievement 1, e.g., “led a team to achieve...”], which resulted in [Outcome]. Furthermore, I [Achievement 2, e.g., “implemented a strategy that...”], leading to [Outcome]. These experiences have refined my skills in [Relevant Skills or Areas].

      Third Paragraph:

      I am particularly drawn to [Company Name] due to its commitment to [Aspect of Company Culture or Value]. My experience in [Relevant Experience or Project] reflects similar values, as I [Example Demonstrating Fit with Company Culture].

      Formal Closing:

      I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my unique talents to [Company Name] and contribute to your team's continued success. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application in further detail.

      Thank you for considering my application.

      Kind regards,

      [Your Name]

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      Remember, a well-structured cover letter not only showcases your qualifications but also reflects your understanding of the company and your enthusiasm for the role.

      Elevate your job application to the next level! Alongside crafting a compelling cover letter, it's crucial to present a resume that stands out. Click here to grab your Free Resume Review now! 

      Key Takeaways for an Effective Cover Letter

      Key Takeaways for an Effective Cover Letter

      Writing a compelling cover letter is an art that combines professionalism, personality, and a clear understanding of the job and the company you are applying to.

      1. Avoid Fluff

      A cover letter should be concise and to the point. Avoid vague and generic statements. For example, instead of saying, “I’m a good fit for the company because I’m a good critical thinker!” Be specific about how your critical thinking skills have benefitted past roles or projects. Use concrete examples to demonstrate your abilities and how they align with the job requirements.

      For Example: "In my previous role at XYZ Corp, I applied my critical thinking skills to streamline our inventory management process, resulting in a 20% reduction in operational costs. This experience aligns well with the efficiency initiatives mentioned in your job listing for the Operations Manager position."

      2. Do Your Research

      2. Do Your Research

      Personalise your cover letter for each application. Research the company and understand its culture, goals, and challenges. This shows that you are not just looking for any job but are interested in this particular company and position. Mention specific aspects of the company that appeal to you and align your skills and experiences with what the company values.

      For Example: "I am particularly drawn to ABC Inc.'s commitment to innovation in sustainable energy. in my recent project, I led a team to develop energy-efficient solutions, reducing our carbon footprint by 30%. Therefore, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute similar innovative strategies at ABC Inc."

      3. Back Up Your Achievements with Data

      Quantifying your achievements makes your claims more credible. For instance, instead of saying, “I improved company revenue,” specify how much you increased revenue or by what percentage. Numbers speak louder than vague statements and provide a clear picture of your capabilities and achievements.

      For Example: "In my role as Sales Lead at ABC Company, I initiated a customer outreach program that resulted in a 40% increase in lead generation and a 15% increase in conversion rates, significantly contributing to the overall growth of the company."

      Tailor Your Skills and Experiences

      4. Tailor Your Skills and Experiences

      Identify the key skills and experiences listed in the job description and reflect these in your cover letter. This tailoring shows the hiring manager that you have what it takes to excel in the role. Focus on the most relevant experiences and achievements that make you an ideal candidate.

      Use a Professional Tone and Format

      5. Use a Professional Tone and Format

      Your cover letter should reflect a professional tone and format. Use a clear and readable font, maintain a formal tone, and follow a standard business letter format. Address the letter to a specific person, if possible, and avoid using generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern.”

      Express Enthusiasm and Personality in Your Cover Letter

       

      6. Express Enthusiasm and Personality in Your Cover Letter

      Your cover letter is more than a summary of your skills and experiences; it is a window into your personality and an opportunity to show how you would fit into the company's culture. Therefore, it is essential to infuse your cover letter with both professionalism and a sense of genuine enthusiasm for the role and the company.

      Demonstrating Cultural Fit

      Human Resources managers seek candidates who not only excel in their roles but also align with the company’s ethos and work environment. A mismatch in this area can lead to high turnover, costing the company significantly.

      To effectively demonstrate your alignment with the company, start with thorough research. Understand the company’s business model, its products or services, and the workplace environment. Is the culture one of independence and innovation, or is it more structured and team-oriented?

      Utilise resources like the company’s website and relevant online information to gather insights. Understanding the company’s ethos, products, and work environment will help you craft a sincere and relevant narrative.

      Crafting Your Narrative

      let us say you are drawn to the company's innovative products and its culture of autonomy. Here’s how you could express that:

      Effective Example:

      "I’ve been a dedicated user of XYZ’s innovative SmartTech devices. Features like Advanced Sync and Flexi-Screen have revolutionised my daily tech interactions. XYZ’s commitment to pushing boundaries in technology aligns perfectly with my drive for continuous innovation. in an environment that values self-direction and pioneering thinking, I see a profound synergy between my professional approach and XYZ’s culture."

      Avoid Generic Statements

      Steer clear of vague and generic remarks. Generic statements can come across as insincere and are easily spotted by hiring managers. For instance:

      Ineffective Example:

      "I’m excited about XYZ’s culture of innovation. My creativity makes me a perfect fit. I also resonate with your company’s values of integrity and transparency."

      This type of statement lacks depth and specificity about the company and how you genuinely connect with its values and culture.

      The Importance of Authenticity

      Your goal is to demonstrate a deep and authentic connection with the company. Show that you have not only done your homework but also genuinely appreciate and align with what the company stands for.

      In your cover letter, it is not just about proving you can do the job; it is about showing that you belong to the company’s culture and share its values. Thorough research, genuine enthusiasm, and a clear narrative on why you and the company are a good match will make your cover letter stand out to hiring managers.

      In addition to the previously mentioned strategies for crafting an effective cover letter, there are other elements you can incorporate to further strengthen your application, especially in today's digital age. Here's how to integrate social media profiles, personal websites, and professional email practices into your cover letter.

      Include Relevant Social Media Profiles

       

      7. Include Relevant Social Media Profiles

      In our interconnected world, your online presence can be a testament to your professional skills and network. Including links to relevant social media profiles can enhance your application, particularly if these profiles showcase your professional achievements or contributions to your field.

      For Example: "I invite you to view my LinkedIn profile, where I regularly share industry insights and collaborate with a network of professionals in digital marketing."

      For specific fields:

      1. LinkedIn: Essential for most professionals.
      2. GitHub: Crucial for developers to showcase their coding projects.
      3. Medium or a Personal Blog: Beneficial for writers and content creators to demonstrate their writing skills and thought leadership.
      4. Reference Your Personal Website: If you have a personal website that showcases your professional portfolio, projects, or blogs, it can be a valuable addition to your application. This is especially true for creative professionals, freelancers, and consultants.

      For Example: "Please visit my personal website, [YourWebsite.com], where I’ve detailed my latest projects and case studies, reflecting my hands-on experience in UX/UI design."

      Use a Professional Email Address

      8. Use a Professional Email Address

      First impressions matter, and your email address is often the first thing an employer notices when they go to contact you. Ensure that your email is professional and simple, ideally including your first and last name. Avoid unprofessional email addresses like “partylover99@email.com.” Instead, use a format like “jane.doe@email.com” for a more professional demeanor.

      Craft a Compelling  and Call to Action

      9. Craft a Compelling  and Call to Action

      The conclusion of your cover letter is as crucial as the introduction. It's your last chance to make an impression and encourage the hiring manager to take the next step.

      Here's how to effectively wrap up your cover letter:

      Add final thoughts: Briefly reiterate any important information you haven't covered in the previous sections. If there is a compelling detail that adds value to your application, include it here.

      Express Gratitude: Courtesy goes a long way. A simple thank you to the hiring manager for considering your application demonstrates your professionalism and respect.

      Encourage Action: The last sentence of your cover letter should prompt the hiring manager to move forward. Politely suggest an interview or further discussion to explore how you can contribute to the company’s goals.

       

      Here’s an example of how to effectively conclude your cover letter:

      "With the required digital marketing skills, I am confident I can optimise your Facebook marketing strategies and look forward to discussing ideas I have at an interview. Thank you for considering my application.”

      The sign-off is your final touch and should reflect a professional tone.

      Here are appropriate options for formally concluding your cover letter:

      "Best Regards"

      "Kind Regards"

      "Sincerely"

      "Thank you"

      These sign-offs are not considered professional:

      “Yours”

      “Take Care”

      “Cheers”

      “Thanks!”

      Remember, the conclusion of your cover letter is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression. A well-crafted ending, paired with a clear call to action, can significantly increase the likelihood of advancing to the next stage in the hiring process.

      Keep in mind that your cover letter is more than just a formality; it's a window into your professional journey and a reflection of your passion for the role. Enhance your job application with a perfectly tailored resume. Click here to Receive Your Complimentary Resume Review!

      Proofread and Edit

       10. Proofread and Edit

      Finally, ensure your cover letter is free from typos and grammatical errors. A well-written, error-free cover letter demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review your cover letter for feedback.

      A great cover letter is more than a formality; it is an opportunity to make a strong first impression and stand out from other candidates. By avoiding fluff, doing thorough research, backing your achievements with data, tailoring your experiences, maintaining a professional tone, showing enthusiasm, proofreading meticulously, and concluding with a call to action can craft a cover letter that not only complements your resume but also highlights your unique value as a candidate.

      Furthermore, in the digital era, your cover letter is not just a paper document; it is a gateway to your professional online presence. When you thoughtfully include social media profiles, personal websites, and use a professional email address add depth to your application and provide hiring managers with a broader perspective of your professional persona. These elements, combined with the core principles of cover letter writing, can significantly enhance your chances of making a strong and memorable impression.

      That brings us to the end of our guide.

      Remember, the final step before submitting your cover letter is just as crucial as the first. Take a moment to review your letter with tools like Grammarly to ensure flawless grammar and coherence. Alternatively, consider having a friend or a colleague glance over it. Their fresh perspective might catch errors you have overlooked and provide valuable feedback. Thank you for joining us on this journey to craft the perfect cover letter. We wish you the best of luck in your job application!

      Need Help?

      Feeling overwhelmed? Our team of experts is here to help. Send your resume to info@theperfectresume.com.au for a complimentary review of your resume and cover letter.

       Further Reading For Cover Letter Tips & Advice

       

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