Job Applications: The Bane of Graduates’ Existence – Cover Letter (Part 1)

I understand that applying for jobs is never a fun activity, but graduates have it pretty tough, especially in the current job market.

They’ve just finished a 3-5 year degree, probably working part-time/casually at wherever that will pay them, so they have some pocket money to survive and now it’s time to join the full time work force.

This is my third time applying for full time positions, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt.

I only just finished applying for a position, so I’ll use it as an example. For this post, I’ll be going through how I prepare and do my research before writing my cover letters.

I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at this, but I do have some experience writing these things and I can say practice makes a BIG difference.

So here goes:


First of all this position that I applied for:

  1.  Opened up Word or whatever note taking program you’d like – You’ll be needing to a few of these open to do a couple of things.
    • One window will be taking notes
    • Another window will be used for copying and pasting slabs of text
  2. Read the job description and then copy and past ALL of it to a word document.
  3. Re-read the job description, but this time look out for keywords (highlight or bold them) that are important such as:
    • Functions of the company
    • Values / Goals of company
    • Responsibilities for the positions
    • Skills and experience needed for the position
    • Opportunities
  4. Write down the keywords and phrases onto the another document. This is what I had for The Position:
    • Entry level
    • Driven and technologically aware
    • Passion for all things digital
    • Work closely with digital planner in developing digital strategies, implementation plans and reporting framework
    • Monitoring campaigns to ensure correct delivery, optimization and campaign delivery
    • Experience working in agency environment
    • Positive and friendly approach to working relationships
    • Stamina for fast pace agency environment
  5. Then I did a quick Google search for the company name, and took down some more notes – The sites I got further information for were:
  6. I sorted and edited my research notes under a few headings (I’ve attached my research notes to this post for those who want to see the exact content):
    • The Position
    • Opportunities
    • The Company
    • Examples of work for clients / Success of the company
  7. From here I’ll be using these notes, as well my CV and seeing how my experiences fit with the position as well as the company to write my cover letter (this will be coming in Part 2)

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