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Write a cover letter

Write a cover letter

The cover letter is going to bring you to an interview. It should show that you understand the job requirements, what the employer wants, and that you have it. Make it clear why you want the job!

Before you start writing

Before you start writing

  • Read the job posting carefully. It is important that you know whom you address.
  • Save the job posting. It might be taken off the website, and you want to the review the posting if you are invited to an interview.
  • A well-written cover letter will make you stand out, and will open the door to the next step - the interview.
  • Write the cover letter in the language the job posting is in.
  • Customise each cover letter for the specific position. A copy of previous written cover letters is bad form, you have to demonstrate that you are familiar with that specific company and the position.
  • Keep your cover letter within one page, and make it easy to read. In just three to four paragraphs, an employer can decide if he wants to interview you.
  • Try to use a precise language. Avoid vague or unneeded words that do not provide additional information. Also, avoid sentences in parenthesis.
  • Each country has its own traditions for writing a cover letter. In Norway, the wording might be less formal than you are used to. However, a good tip is to try to have the similar wording as in the job advertisement.

The elements in a cover letter

1. Opening paragraph

Mention how you heard about the job, especially if you are acting on a personal referral. Express the motivation for that particular job.

Tips Opening Paragraph

Ask yourself why you want the job. Try to avoid standard reasons. Rather make the necessary research to figure out why the specific position is interesting for you.

  1. Directly:

As marketing director for Blabla, I had the responsibility for administration of social media. By introducing new marketing strategies, I doubled the number of followers at Instagram and Twitter. This experience will be useful in Digiwords current focus on social media.

  1. Express enthusiasm:

I was pleased to see that you want a new co-worker! I have been interested in development of new web solutions for quite some time. This was also the objective of my master’s thesis. Silba AS has reputation for being an excellent company to learn about customisations of IT-solutions. Therefore, I want to apply for the position as a developer at your company.

  1. Name-dropping:

It was with pleasure I heard that you are looking for an editorial secretary at Better publishers! Last week I talked to your Director of communications, Berit Olsen who informed me about this position.

  1. Updated:

Lately, I have read about Valziv AS new cooperation with Fjordbeit AS in Economist News. After reading the articles, I was inspired to ask for job opportunities at your company.

The main part

2. The main part

Education, work experience and personal skills. Give specific information and examples of how your skills and experience relate directly to the new position. Your job is to figure out what the employer wants, and to make it clear that you have it.

Examples main part

  1. I have previous experience with developing web applications in Linux and Apache through my summer job at the company IT-Flow.
  2. From my master’s thesis, I have experience working structured by handling a large amount of collected data.
  3. I thrive in a team environment, as I did working as responsible for arrangements in the student organisation at my study programme. I worked in a team of four people responsible to contact employers and arrange career fairs.
  4. From my experience at the restaurant Good Food, I have learned that I handle stressful situations well.

Closing Paragraph

3. Closing Paragraph

The last phrase of your cover letter should reiterate your enthusiasm and remind them why you are a good candidate for the job.

Tips Closing Paragraph

  • What you can contribute to in the position, your experience that is useful for the company.
  • That you consider the company the best place to learn about the work tasks or your area of interest.

Foto Open application

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To write an open application

To write an open application

Many positions are never posted, but can be given through networking, recruitment agencies or social media. Therefore, it might be necessary to be more active. If you plan to write an open application and you have no advertisement to relate to, you still have to customise your cover letter and CV to the specific company.


  • Do your research! Consider which position is correct for you in this business and how can you contribute to the company.
  • Find out if the company accepts open applications. Look at their website or contact the company directly. To whom can you talk to or send the open application?
  • Try to talk to someone who has knowledge about your discipline or can make decisions in a relevant department. Ask what skills they are especially interested in: These are tips for your customised cover letter! If the conversation goes well, why not ask if you can refer to it in the cover letter.
  • Express your motivation for that particular job, why do you want to work in that specific company. What skills do you have that would benefit the company?
  • Follow up after a couple of weeks. Check if they have received your application. Appear polite, interested and not fussy.
  • Consider social media for job searching.

Job vacancies sites2

Job vacancy sites

Whether you want an internship, part-time job or a full-time job, you might find English speaking opportunities in Norway here:

e-course cover letter


How to write a cover letter

Texting in English

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