You are ready to apply for your dream job at the Government of Canada. You fill out the resume section, you answer the questionnaire and then you see the dreaded space for the cover letter. Panic hits. How do you ensure that YOUR cover letter will stand out from the other thousands of applicants that want the same job as you?
I know how you feel, I have had many applications rejected by the Government of Canada due to a poorly written cover letter, even though I had the right education and work experience for the job.
Despite searching online and reading various books, there was no clear method to writing a cover letter for the Government of Canada that worked for me. However, you are unlike me, below I will provide you some insiders’ knowledge to ensure that your cover letter stands out from the others. This is the strategy that I used to get my first job interview and have successfully used variations of this format in several internal Government of Canada job competitions.
So, how do you make your cover letter stand out from the competition? Here is some insider knowledge to get you ahead:
Divide your cover letter into three main sections
State the name of the Human Resource employee who is in charge of the competition (e.g.,Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.). It is imperative to determine if the person is male or female (if you are unsure simply write the full name).If you are unable to obtain the name of the person, you can also use the line: “Dear human resource manager:”
2. Introductory Sentence
Clearly state what position you are applying to. Sometimes one job competition could be for different levels or streams. If that is the case for the job you are applying to, state it here [e.g., I am writing this letter to apply to the Regulations advisor, Domestic Affairs (EC-04) at the Department of National Defence (Selection Process
This section is where you place your educational and work experience that is relevant to your job competition. You should divide this section based on the requirements requested in the Statement of Merit Criteria (e.g.,Essential Qualifications; Asset Qualifications; and Other Conditions of Employment).
Here are other critical points to keep in mind when writing your cover letter:
- Respect the word count provided for the cover letter.
- You must write using clear and concise language.
- Use keywords provided in the job competition.
- Place Government of Canada “jargon” in your cover letter (e.g., “decks” instead of PowerPoint presentations).
Here is an excerpt of what a final cover letter would look like:
Dear Mr. Brown:
I am writing this letter to apply to the Regulations advisor, Domestic Affairs (EC-04) at the Department of National Defence (Selection Process Number: DND000-000000-000000).
Bachelors degree or higher in a field pertaining to Economics, Sociology, or Statistics.
In 2007, I obtained Master of Science in Political Science from Carleton University. In 2005, I graduated with a Bachelors of Economics from the University of Ottawa and have competed courses in sociology and statistics.
The courses that I have taken in sociology are:
1) International social movements
2) Sociology in today’s world
3) Contemporary Sociological Theory
This is a simple example of how your experience can be laid out to make it clear for Human Resource Managers. This excerpt only touched the surface of the many tweaks that can be made to your cover letter to get it on the top of the pile.
Every successful candidate knows that an amazing cover letter and resume that stands out from the others is only the key to getting screened into job competitions in the Government of Canada. In The Insider’s Guide on Resumes and Cover Letters, I will carefully guide you through the whole resume and cover letter process to ensure you get the job you want when you want it.
Want to read even more on writing resumes and cover letters that make hiring managers want to meet you? Click here for more information.
Look at what others had to say…..
Thank you William for this amazing report, after four months of using the techniques described, I obtained my dream job. I had six rejected Government applications prior to implementing the techniques provided in this report. – JoAnne, B
William, I spent hundreds on worthless conferences and resume workshops. I heard about your report from a buddy and I decided to give it a shot. I now work for the federal public service thanks to you. – Li Ming
I’m writing you to thank you for providing this clear guide for students like me. Most of my friends with similar work experience got screened out at the first stage! – Robert, H