Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Together with your photographs, videos and previous experience, a letter is your calling card

As such, it's important to set the right tone and create a good impression. While it's true that a good letter can really do you favours, it's also true that a bad, poorly presented letter can result in your application being ignored. Employers, directors and casting directors receive a mountain of unsolicited e-mails and won't be able to devote more than a few moments to each application. 

Given that there will be dozens, hundreds or thousands of other letters you might wonder how you can set yourself apart from the others. Be professional, be yourself and keep it relevant to the job you're applying for. Keep in mind that yours will be one of many letters employer or casting director will receive - they won't have the time or patience to read an essay. A letter should be a couple of clear, succinct paragraphs including why you are interested in the job and why you think you're suitable. If accompanied by a headshot and CV, they'll have an idea of your look and your career to date, so in your letter don't simply parrot what the CV says. When writing a letter try to think how it will come across to the reader, a person who doesn't know you. It's a good idea to run your draft by a friend or colleague for a second opinion before sending it. Write in the first person singular and adhere to the usual rules of grammar and letter writing. 

Do's (of a good cover letter)

  • Keep it short and relevant 
  • Highlight your unique selling points linked to the job description 
  • Personalise & customise the letter
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Read, read again and read again before sending

Don'ts (to ensure your cover letter is effective)

  • Don't make it too long
  • Don't write about irrelevant experience
  • Don't be vague and don't copy your resume or previous cover letters
  • Don't use text message abbreviations
    • e.g. "cn i hav the job pls?"
  • Don't forget to include any relevant materials
    • e.g. Headshots / CV / Video Reel 
  • Don't forget to sign the letter

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