resume cover letter examples nz

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

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 .

Read more 

Cover letters: the good and the bad, 7 cover letter openers to land you an interview, 8 things to cut from your cover letter.

Cover letters

7 cover letter openers to land you an interview

3.5 min read

8 things to cut from your cover letter


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resume cover letter examples nz

How To Master a Cover Letter for New Zealand [Examples & Tips]

resume cover letter examples nz

Although you might don’t want to, yet in most cases, you need to include a cover letter when applying for a job in New Zealand. NZ cover letter is similar to other countries; it should show the company why you are the right candidate for the job. Take your time to write a personal and customized letter. Never send the generic one; this can ruin your application from the start.

A cover letter is a monumental part of your job application in New Zealand. A good cover letter should answer the main question, which is why the company should hire you. Additionally, it must provide information on how you can bring value to the company and help them with the challenges. A cover letter should showcase the relevant skills and experience you have.

In most cases, businesses and recruiters in New Zealand will require you to attach a customized cover letter. And it’s a good thing for you. In the end, the cover letter is a claim for the role – it’s your chance to highlight and match your experience against the job description and to clearly state what you can offer your potential employer.

If you are looking for a job in New Zealand, I would highly recommend going through the Job Hunter’s handbook made by

Table of Contents

Is a cover letter necessary in New Zealand?

Unfortunately, yes, you need to include a customized cover letter when applying for a job in New Zealand. Almost  half of the recruiters reject applications without a cover letter. A high-quality, customized cover letter tells the manager you are a dedicated professional. It should be only a page long.

A resume or CV alone can show your achievements and qualifications, but it can’t tell the story and explain why you choose this company in particular. That’s why we need a cover letter. It’s also a great tool to show your personality and motivation. It must show the employer you are an asset to their company.

Are you resigning from your previous job? Read how to write a proper resignation letter .

Resignation Letter in New Zealand (Examples + Template)

Tips and guidance for a winner cover letter.

So what is a cover letter, and why it’s so important for your job application in New Zealand?

  • Cover letter is your first point of contact with employers .
  • It should fit on one page .
  • It needs to explain why you want this job .
  • It should relate to your CV .
  • It should describe your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments .
  • It should show the evidence that you have researched the company and that you are the right candidate.

If you follow these simple statements, you should already be able to create a decent letter. Yet, if you want more, read this article to the end and follow the advice.

The winning tactic here is focusing on  them , not just on  you,  which will ultimately make you stand out from other applicants

When writing your cover letter, pay attention to the following:

  • Do very extensive research about the company. Show it in the cover letter.
  • Reflect on the company’s vision.
  • Highlight specific achievements and successes that show you can address the challenges the employer is facing.
  • Show your personality.
  • Prove that you understand the challenges of the company.
  • Explain your motivation and fit for the position.
  • Presents how your skills and experience as a solution for the company.
  • Create a list of job keywords that are mentioned in the job ad. Include them in the cover letter.
  • Address the cover letter to the right person, e.g., the hiring manager or recruiter
  • Be clear and concise
  • Have a structure in the letter – beginning, middle, end
  • Use active words to describe your work – accomplished, achieved, led, created, increased, identified
  • Finish with a call to action and ask for a meeting.
  • Try to be funny
  • Send a generic cover letter — customize each one for the specific job.
  • Forget your full contact details
  • Generic and boring opening paragraph
  • Copy-paste from the CV or job ad
  • Start every sentence with “I”
  • Write more than one page

Looking for a job? Check out the best recruitment agencies in New Zealand .

Best Recruitment Agencies in New Zealand 2024

1. Research about the company and position

resume cover letter examples nz

Your knowledge about the company you are applying to work for is crucial. You must also know all the essential details about the advertised position and how your skills and experience fit in.

When someone reads your cover letter, they must be sure you are the right candidate for this position and for this company. That’s why you must include as many tailored to the job ad details as possible (yet not too many).

So, look for information on the company, its key products or services, its mission, and anything else that gives you an insight into them. Notice the most important details and mention them in the cover letter where appropriate.

You might want to check out the company’s website, its executives’ Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn profiles.

The culture of the organization is vital to note. This will influence your communication style. For instance, you might be more casual with start-ups or advertising agencies but more formal with banks and large corporations.

2. Show how you can help

A company hires you to solve a problem or to help with challenging tasks they are unable to manage. Point out the things you can do for a company and which potential results it might bring. Or maybe you already were challenged with similar tasks? Mention it in your cover letter!

3. Why are you a perfect fit?

The second paragraph of your cover letter should give a clear idea to the reader why you are the one and that you will satisfy the company’s specific needs.

Here you should match the keywords mentioned in the job ad with your skills and experience. You also must show the hiring manager why you want this job, not just any job. Include all the enthusiasm and passion you have.

Match your skills with a job ad

Highlight the key skills and qualities in the ad, e.g.:

  • strong written and verbal communication
  • technical skills
  • analytical thinking
  • team player or teamwork
  • problem-solving
  • time management
  • knowledge of software & tools
  • specialized or technical competencies
  • high level of computer competency
  • ability to work well under pressure
  • enthusiasm and initiative
  • excellent customer service

Include them in the cover letter with real-life examples.

Connections matter in New Zealand

resume cover letter examples nz

About 70% of all jobs in New Zealand are so-called hidden. They are simply not advertised because hiring managers seek candidates within the company, their circle of colleagues, and people they know before they post a job ad. For that reason, having connections in New Zealand is very crucial.

You are more likely to be invited to an interview if you know a friend of a friend and they got a reference they you rather than just based on your qualifications and experience.

That might be good news for some and bad news for others. Nonetheless, it’s highly recommended to start networking as soon as you land in New Zealand. Join groups, participate in social and professional events, work on your Linkedin profile, and just be proactive.

And if you are lucky to know someone in the company you are applying to work for, mention it in the first sentence or two of your cover letter.

Don’t forget to include

Your cover letter shouldn’t miss these small but key elements:

Your personal value and personality

While skills and experiences are indeed critical, New Zealanders love human connection. If they find you an interesting and nice person, they are more likely to move forward with your application.

Try to be personal in your cover letter; tell them more unique things about you and your experience. Avoid being general at any cost.

Reflect on your experience that relates to the job ad and company profile. What challenges have you faced, and how did you solve them? You also want to provide evidence of the things you mention by using concrete examples, situations, numbers, and facts. For example:

“During the last quarter, my company was challenged by the supply shortage of …We have had 200% more orders than we can ever fulfill. To solve this problem, I was on the lookout for new suppliers for several weeks; after dozens of selling calls, I finally managed to sign a contract with our best supplier so far. I will never come across them otherwise.”

Your enthusiasm

In many cases, people don’t get hired because they aren’t enthusiastic and convincing enough. So, it’s not the lack of skills; it’s your desire and how you show it. If you make it as if it was your dream job, you are more likely to be invited. Avoid at any cost writing in a manner as you are doing a company a favor by working for them.

Hiring managers even say, “Enthusiasm conveys personality.” Some tips that help you to point out your enthusiasm include:

  • Show that you have thought about the job and why you would like to work for them.
  • Why is this company so brilliant? What they do the best? How they stand out?
  • Mention their reputation, performance, and product.
  • Remember, it’s about what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.

NZ cover letter structure

Following the formal structure when piecing together a cover letter is as much as important as its content. So, make sure you stick to New Zealand standards. Here is an example:

Dear [Ms. or Mr. Surname],

  • Opening – Explain why you are writing this letter (add an interesting one-liner summarizing why you’re interested in the role and what you’d bring to their business.)
  • Explain your interest in the job, show knowledge about the company and position
  • Demonstrate your skills and experience related to the job
  • Explain why you will fit into this role and which value you will bring to the company
  • Sign off and offer them to contact you

Yours sincerely,

Your name – Andrew Black.

Make sure you check your cover letter via Grammarly for spelling and grammar mistakes!

Cover letter introduction

The introduction sentences will determine whether the hiring manager will read on or skip your resume. Start your cover letter in an unconventional way and hold the reader’s interest. Here are some tips for a stellar introduction:

  • Highlight your achievements in the industry.
  • Display your passion and enthusiasm.
  • Mention some names and numbers.

A no-go cover letter introduction looks like this:

In response to your posting for the Digital Marketing Manager position, I would like to express my interest in participating in the recruitment process. As a digital marketing manager with 8+ years of experience, I am optimistic that I would succeed in this role.

Top cover letter example

Since you already know how to write the header, here is only the main part of the cover letter.

” I am writing regarding the Marketing Manager position you currently have open. As a marketer with over 5 years of experience managing small and larger teams, I would love to take a challenge and work for your company. Marketing is my passion, so it’s to achieve monthly goals, generate new leads & sales, and train the team for success.

In my previous role at (company name), I reached not only the set marketing goals but exceeded them by 80% and, in some months, even 120%. Your company (name) already has brilliant strategies in place, you use paid advertising, social media, and outreach, but I would add other channels to ramp up the reach and revenue. I am experienced and knowledgeable in the SEO scene; hence we can explore new opportunities for your business in this area of marketing.

My previous team of marketing assistants was great! I love to work with people and guide them in our current strategies. At the same time, responsibility for people does not make me stressed or scared but ignites my motivation to bring even better results so we can all be proud as a team.

Besides, my Master’s degree in Business taught me fundamental knowledge about organizations, management, strategy, and agility, which I would be happy to apply when working for (company).

It will be great to talk in person one day. You can reach me at 123456789 any time or via email at [email protected] to arrange an interview. Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.

Cover letter for a visa application

Im most cases, Immigration New Zealand, will request a cover or so-called motivational letter together with your visa application. This is generally a less complex document that you would write for the employer.

Your cover letter for a visa should include:

  • Reasons why you are moving or visiting New Zealand
  • How are you going to support yourself
  • Demonstration of how you meet the criteria for the visa

The content of the cover letter will vary depending on the visa type you are applying for. If it’s, for instance, to join a partner in New Zealand, you should include your relationship to them and explain it briefly.

Therefore, your cover letter should target your visa category’s main requirements. 

When I was applying for a student visa, my cover letter described why I decided to study in New Zealand and what are my plans after my studies. Immigration New Zealand also mentioned in their requirements that the cover letter must include these details.

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CVs and cover letters

Take the hard work out of writing your CV and cover letter. Get advice about what to write, support to show you what to do, and free templates you can use.

When you apply for a job, employers will look at your:

  • CV, to see your skills, any qualifications, and your work history
  • cover letter, to find out what kind of person you are and why you want this job.

They'll use this to decide if they want to interview you, so it's really important to make a good impression.

What's available

'build my cv' service.

A free service to help you write or rewrite your CV and cover letter. It's run by the Auckland Business Chamber, and it's available online and by phone throughout New Zealand.

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If you've been getting one of these benefits for less than 12 months, you can sign up through MyMSD:

If you've been getting one of these benefits for more than 12 months talk to your local service centre or call our Job Search line on 0800 779 009 .

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A free, interactive tool from

  • Makes sure your CV has all the information employers look for.
  • Tips and advice to help you build a CV to get you noticed.
  • Your CV will save automatically to your account, and you can download, print and email it in Word and PDF.

How to write a cover letter has great advice about:

  • what your cover letter needs
  • how to make it look good
  • templates you can use.

Use our free online cover letter builder

Build a winning cover letter now.

Our cover letter tools are helping Kiwis create impressive, powerful cover letters in less than ten minutes. Say goodbye to writer’s block with our pre-written phrases and tools, designed by experts, created for professionals.

Looking to create next-level cover letters and CVs? and resumes . We’ll help you stay up-to-date with the job market with our modern templates and tools! Use our CV builder to get one step closer to your dream career!

Loving our professional design formats? Want to see more? Keen to discover what has to offer? Build powerful CVs in minutes with our CV builder. No hassle, no worries.

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How our cover letter builder drastically increases your chances of securing your dream job.

At, we streamline the application process for you. You don’t have to build anything from scratch! You can use our free cover letter templates and input your info easily. All of our designs are expert-approved and trusted by professionals. Come check them out for yourself!

With our in-built, automatic spell-checker, you don’t have to worry about being rejected due to grammatical errors or typos. We have everything in one place to remove the hassle from telling your professional story. Start making professional CVs and cover letters and advance your career now!

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How to build a cover letter.

Building a convincing cover letter can take time and skills we don’t always have. Now, with, we’ll help you build an effortless and easy cover letter that helps showcase your skills.

With our diverse range of stunning cover letter design templates, there’s something for everyone. All of our templates have been designed with professionals in mind, allowing users to pick a template for any job, industry or employer. professional Curious? Come take a look!

Employers need reliable contact information, so be sure to add relevant and appropriate contact details. With our expert-designed templates, headers and formatting, you can be sure your CV will be noticed and get you hired faster. No boring visuals, no problems!

Save on time by using our pre-approved phrases and top career tips and tricks! Use our free guides and resources to create impressive cover letters that leave a lasting impression and save you time and energy!

Customise the design, structure and formatting of your cover letters with ease. Our templates can be adjusted to your preferences, and you can edit on-the-go with our offline sync features. You won’t lose any progress or edits, even if we lose connection. Pretty cool, huh?

Use our PDF files to keep your CV and cover letter formatting perfectly intact. No matter what interface or email your employer uses, our flexible export options make launching your dream career easy.

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Importance of a good cv.

Your resume must also get past any initial screening algorithms, or applicant tracking systems (ATS), which identify suitable candidates based on the use of relevant keywords.

Think of your CV as your own living, breathing personal pitch – a pitch that succinctly answers all the questions a recruiter or hiring manager has about you. The degree to which you present the reader with the information they require to make an informed decision can determine whether you are invited to interview.

This includes why you are applying for this job, with this organisation and in this industry, what value you can bring to the organisation and whether you have what is required to be successful in the role.To leave the reader with no doubt about your suitability, you must present a strong CV that clearly conveys this information.

How often should I update my CV? 

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a new role, it’s important to get into the habit of regularly updating your CV. If you keep your resume up-to-date, when you do come to the point when you want to find a new position, there’s no risk that you’ll forget key points.

Regularly updating your resume can also make you more aware of any skills or experience gaps that you need to fill to take the next step in your career.

Download your CV template 

Enter your details below to download your CV template:

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Resume advice.

A good CV is vital. Discover tips and advice on how to write a resume with this video. Follow our tips to update your CV or download the free resume template!

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How to write a resume

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Make your CV stand out

CV cliches to avoid

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Cv versus resume – what’s the difference  .

Today, a lot of employers and job candidates use the terms ‘CV’ and ‘resume’ interchangeably. Indeed, you may see just as many references to ‘resume templates’ as you do ‘CV templates’.

Traditionally, a CV referred to a comprehensive (up to six pages) account of your entire professional life, while a resume was a summary (up to two pages) of your education, skills and work experience. However, in more modern times, the need for a lengthy overview of your career history has become redundant, with a hiring company instead expecting a two-page summary.

At the same time, people began to use the two terms reciprocally. Now, whether you call your career overview a ‘CV’ or ‘resume’, it has no bearing on your chance of reaching an interview shortlist. 

How to write a resume | 2nd content block | UB

The purpose of a resume.

Your resume serves to introduce the relevancy of your skills, experience, qualifications and achievements to a recruiter and potential employer. A recruiter or employer may not spend longer than a few minutes reviewing your resume, so it should succinctly convey your most relevant achievements. If the reader thinks you are a suitable candidate for the role, your resume will have achieved its purpose – an offer to attend an interview. 

you must be able to demonstrate your skills, experience, and future potential.

If you can do that well in one page, that’s great. However, the average length of a resume is usually around two pages. 

How to write a resume | 3rd content block | UB

How long should my resume be.

Your resume should be approximately two pages long. If it is substantially longer, eliminate information that isn’t relevant to the role or industry.

For instance, look back at the key skills and attributes required for the job in question and then review your resume – are you using valuable space to describe skills, attributes and responsibilities from roles that don’t match up to the job in question?

If so, remove this content or, at the least, simplify your language. On your resume, you must get to the point, so don’t use ten words to say something you could say in five.  

On the other hand, one page may suffice in certain circumstances. The main thing to keep in mind when you’re writing your resume is that you must be able to demonstrate your skills, experience, and future potential.

How to write a resume | 4th content block | UB

What not to include in a resume.

Use your common sense when writing your resume. If you have been employed for many years and your career has evolved over time, knowing how to write a resume well means you will not include every role you’ve ever held, such as the casual retail position you had in high school or the captaincy of your social sporting team. Rather, use the limited space on your resume strategically by ensuring every line shows how you are relevant to the particular job you’re applying for. 

Similarly, if you have an advanced degree, few people are going to be concerned about the exams you took when you were 16 years old. Instead, only include training that is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Unless otherwise stated, you don’t need to attach copies of certificates, qualifications or references. You should instead bring these to a job interview.

We also advise candidates to avoid listing their hobbies or interests. Focus instead on the experience and skills that make you suitable for the job you’re applying for. The exceptions occur when you have limited relevant experience or if the employer specifically asks applicants to list hobbies. In these cases, keep it brief. Avoid anything that could be contentious, such as political affiliations, and instead show how your personality is suited to that of the organisation. For example, consider listing a hobby that requires expertise relevant to the role, such as organisational or communication skills. 

You also do not need to design a creative resume, unless you work in a creative field. Some candidates attempt to produce a more creative resume to stand out, however it really is the relevancy of your skills and experience that will ensure you make a shortlist, not how you present your resume.

Can AI write the perfect resume?

How to write a resume | 5th content block | ub, step by step guide to writing a great resume.

Follow the below standard resume structure when looking to write your resume. Don’t forget to ensure you use clean and clear formatting. 

1. Contact information

Start with the basics such as your name, phone number, email address (make sure the email address you use sounds professional) and  LinkedIn profile . Use the phone number and email address that you use most often. You don’t want to disappoint an employer by failing to respond to their invitation to an interview in a timely fashion.

2. Professional summary 

In 50 to 150 words, describe your applicable experience and skills. This summary should prove your value and help to differentiate you. Avoid describing what you’d like from your next job and instead focus on what you can offer. This is the place for your  USP , or unique selling proposition. Tailor this section to each position that you’re applying to.

Use keywords from the job description so that an ATS can find a match.

3. Skills summary 

The reader of your resume may not have more than a minute to spend scanning each application, particularly if the volume of applications is very high, so including a skills section can capture their attention by making it immediately clear what you can offer. Compile a brief bulleted list of the systems,  skills and competencies  that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Use keywords from the job description here too.

For instance, if the ad specifies someone who has ‘effective administrative abilities and excellent interpersonal skills’, these should be addressed here with brief evidence as to where you gained those skills. Make sure to tailor your expertise to the individual position you are applying for, always.

4. Achievements

A future employer will be interested in where you went above and beyond the job that you were paid to do and achieved something great. So, next list your key career achievements, supported by facts, statistics or links. For example, if you over-achieved on your sales targets, you need to say by what percentage and over what period.

Keep in mind, this is a summary to grab interest by demonstrating you can successfully add value to an organisation in the type of job you’re applying for, so proof is essential.

5. Work experience 

Your work history should be the most detailed section of your resume, with positions listed in reverse order, beginning with the most recent. Include employer names, positions and primary responsibilities.

If your job title is unconventional, it is perfectly acceptable to replace it with a recognisable equivalent.

It is important to quantify your accomplishments – the reader wants to see facts not fluff. Focus on the value you added in each role, rather than simply listing what your duties were. This section shouldn’t read like a job description. Rather, it should tell the story of your unique strengths and accomplishments. Think of your biggest achievements for each role and provide concrete, quantifiable evidence of each. One way to help you do this is to use action verbs such as “managed” or “oversaw”. Such verbs force you to focus on what you achieved and your results in each role, which proves the value of your experience.

Avoid overused clichés in you CV  that can waste valuable space. Instead, include examples of your work to demonstrate your strengths. Remember that proof is in your results.

We also advise you not to leave gaps in your work history. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment, or travelled for six months, say so. Just make sure you illustrate whatever the experience was in a positive way, focusing on the fact that it gave you some great experience and knowledge.

Stating just the years you started or finished a role can also send off alarm bells. Writing "2019 - 2021" could be interpreted as employment from December 2019 to January 2021 unless you say otherwise. 

6. Education & qualifications 

Keep it concise by listing the academic qualification obtained, year of completion, the institution’s name and a one-sentence summary.

7. References 

The details of references are rarely included on resumes. It’s common for candidates to simply write, “References are available upon request” in this section of your resume. Your recruiter will then reach out for the details of your referees at the appropriate point in the recruitment process. 

Remember though, the referees recruiters and employers value the most are those people you reported to directly who can speak about how you used your skills and experience to add value to their organisation. If you are unsure who to provide as a referee, our  guide to references  may help. 

How to write a resume | 6th content block | UB

Final tips to remember when writing your resume.

By the time the recruiter or hiring manager reaches the end of your resume, they will have more than likely made their decision about whether to add your resume to the interview pile or not. Here are three final tips to help your resume reach the shortlist: Firstly, tailor your resume for each application. To make the interview shortlist, your resume must demonstrate that you possess most or all the criteria required in the job. Tailor your application for each position you apply for by expanding on your experience relevant to the job and cutting back the less relevant parts. You should also show that you are genuinely interested in this job. Failing to tailor your CV by submitting a blanket application will not impress. So, weave into your professional summary the reasons that make you a good fit for this particular position and what specifically resonates with you about the organisation or role. Secondly, make sure you add quantifiable results. As mentioned above, providing evidence to support the claims you make on your CV brings it to life and establishes for the reader the value you could bring. However, not every role allows for the sort of measurement by which you can prove your expertise. If you find yourself unsure how to add quantitative evidence this blog provides some tips. Adding links to your LinkedIn profile and online portfolios of work can also help the reader build a better picture of your competencies.

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How to start a cover letter: 6 attention grabbing intros + examples

A good cover letter intro is like a good espresso – short, sharp and energising. Here’s how to brew one of your own.

Person starting to write a cover letter

What you’ll learn:

  • The contact information you should include in a cover letter
  • The best greeting to use in a cover letter
  • Attention-grabbing ways to start an NZ cover letter

A cover letter is your chance to prove you’re the perfect candidate for the role, and a vital step towards clinching that all important interview. 

But this won’t happen if the reader doesn’t get past the first sentence. Your opener needs to grab their attention, and make them hungry to find out more. 

Today, we’re going to answer your questions by exploring how to start a cover letter, NZ style. We’ll look at greetings, what to do when there’s no name in the job ad and some different approaches you can adopt. As well as examples, we’ve also included a download link for some free cover letter templates that you can take and use in your own job applications.

An athlete jumping over a hurdle on a running track.

Will your readers fall at the first sentence?

What contact information should you include on your cover letter?

The first things you’ll see on a cover letter are the names and contact details information for both the intended reader, and yourself. These should be formatted like a letter (as in the old timey paper things we used to send before we had emails). If this doesn’t make sense, you can check out the templates linked above to see what we mean. 

At the top left of the cover letter, you should include:

  • The manager's name 
  • The manager’s job title 
  • The company name 
  • The physical address from the company

At the top right, you should include: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your email address 
  • Your phone number

What is the best greeting for a cover letter?

Before you start working your wordsmith magic, you need to say hello … the right way.

You may see this section referred to as a ‘cover letter salutation’, but we’ll stick with ‘greeting’, because we aren’t from the Middle Ages. The ideal cover letter greeting looks like this:

  • “Dear James Webster,”

Use ‘Dear’, because it’s a formal letter, and address it to the recruiter or hiring manager by using their full name. This is often included in the job listing, or can usually be found easily by stalking the company website.

How to start a cover letter without a name

We recommend putting serious time into finding a name when addressing your cover letter – this tiny bit of personalisation goes a long way. 

Even if you’re not 100% sure it’s right, no one will penalise you for addressing the letter to the head of the department the role sits within. If you’re applying to a really small business, you could even go with the owner – it shows you tried. 

Failing all of this, the next best option is, ‘Dear Hiring Manager’. While it lacks the personal touch, this greeting works because it’s basically invisible. It’s not as cold as ‘To whom it may concern’ (avoid this at all costs), and not overly informal like, ‘Hi there’.

Attention grabbing ways to start a cover letter

None of the below examples are better than the others, we just gave you a choice to fit your personal style, and the type of role you’re applying for.

1. Being energetic from the get-go

Enthusiasm for the role and/or company always goes down well. While it’s important not to come across as fake, when done well, this intro can really help you stand out .

“I was hugely excited to see the assistant restaurant manager role you’re listing on Trade Me Jobs. I’m an experienced head waiter, with a track record of effective leadership and a passion for delivering great customer experiences. What’s more, I’ve been a loyal customer of yours for years, and would love to join your team!”

Person dancing in the street with bluetooth headphones.

Try adding some extra energy into your cover letter opener.

2. Leading with your values

While some careers (think doctors, teachers and charity workers) are considered ‘callings’, personal values are becoming increasingly important across New Zealand’s job market.

If you think it’s appropriate, a value-led cover letter can be highly memorable.

“Businesses should take climate change seriously. As a software engineering graduate with a passion for sustainability, I believe technology is key to making the commercial sector greener. Your reputation for pioneering this technology, and partnering with businesses to implement it, excites me, and I’d love to become part of your mission.”

3. Targeting an achievement

Evidence-backed success stories grab the reader’s attention, and get them thinking about the improvements you could make to their company. The trick here is to get your message over without appearing arrogant.

“In the last 18 months, I’ve beaten my quarterly sales target by a minimum of X%, every time. In total, this has brought in an additional $XX,XXX of revenue for the business. I’d love to bring this track record, and my passion for customer service, to the Sales Manager position listed on Trade Me Jobs.”

A pair of hands holdings up five small golden stars.

Highlighting a professional achievement can be a strong way to start your cover letter.

4. Mentioning a contact

If someone within the company recommended you apply for the job, make sure the hiring manager knows. Why? They see hundreds of applications a day, and if yours is backed by someone who’s already landed a job at the company, that means something.

“I was excited to learn about the Social Media Manager role from my former colleague, Lauren Irvine. She and I worked together running digital and social campaigns for a wide variety of companies at BUSINESS NAME. She thought my skills and personality would be a good match for your team.”

Another way to make your application easy for the hiring manager is by including a link to your online job profile , or portfolio of work. Today, employers often want to check out your digital presence, and this platform lets them build a better picture of you by viewing your skills and experience at the click of a button.

5. Expressing passion for what you do

Employers aren’t interested in someone who’s just turning up to earn a salary. They want to hire an employee who’s passionate about what their organisation does, and will bring this energy to work every day. Your cover letter is a great place to get this dedication across, as long as you get the tone right. Too gushy, and the reader might think you’re being disingenuous, too laid back and they might not feel the passion coming through. 


“I’ve been passionate about conservation since my parents took me on a whale watching tour as a child. Throughout my schooling and career since then, I’ve been focussed on finding a role that allows me to help protect the wonderful marine wildlife we have here in New Zealand.”

6. Starting with a statement of belief

Of course, if you have particularly controversial views on the topic you want to make a statement about, it might be better to keep them to yourself at this early point in the application process. However, there are ways you can use this intro technique to demonstrate a grasp of current issues within your profession, and also your enthusiasm for the work. 

“We need to end the stigma around seeking help for mental health issues. As a counsellor, I strive to provide an environment in which people feel comfortable to talk about the challenges they face, regardless of their background or their concerns about receiving counselling.”

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Along with your CV, a cover letter is essential to any NZ job application. Let's get you started.

Done right, your CV can be a powerful tool for helping you stand out from other candidates. Here, we’ll show you how.

A good CV can make all the difference to your job hunting hopes. Check out our must-read advice and free templates.

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Resumes & cover letters: Resume examples

resume examples

There are many types of resumes to for job seekers from a wide range of backgrounds. Take a look at the resume samples below to see which one is best for you. The three most popular resume types are as follows:

Reverse chronological resume example

Also called the chronological resume format, it’s the most common and traditional type of resume format. It lists your work experience starting with your most recent position.

Use it to highlight

  • upward career progression – they’ll see your most senior roles first
  • continuous work history – by highlighting months & years

Take a look at an  example of a reverse chronological resume  or have a go at writing your own  using our template .

Functional resume example

A functional resume emphasises skills, experience and abilities over work history and dates.

It’s a good option for those who have gaps in their employment, and a long work history or a changed career or career focus.

Take a look at an  example of a functional resume  or have a go at writing your own  using our template.

One page career summary resume example

A one page resume is perfect for senior executives with many accomplishments and years of professional experience. It provides a snapshot of your:

Have a go at writing your own  one page career summary using our template.

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Hiring: Managing workplace culture in the time of COVID-19

Culture and engagement are critical factors in driving organisational performance, and yet they have had to be re-invented during the COVID-19 disruptions. The hip office, workplace drinks, onsite gym and days off for birthdays, plus the casual banter around the water cooler: these are all aspects of work which go into creating a cohesive and…

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  19. How to Write a Resume

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    Attention grabbing ways to start a cover letter. None of the below examples are better than the others, we just gave you a choice to fit your personal style, and the type of role you're applying for. 1. Being energetic from the get-go. Enthusiasm for the role and/or company always goes down well.

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