I have seen many cover notes over the years and they all fail to meet the requirements. I want to give some advice on this as many people may think its stating the obvious but its surprising how many people get this wrong.
The aim of the cover note is to sell yourself to the company. In order to produce a good cover note you should be reading the job requirements and trying to prove you have that experience and the skills to do the job they are advertising. This is a good chance to tell them more about you and why you would be a great person to have on their team. Again this should be only about a page long as you don’t want to tell them your life story but just enough about you that they like what they read. The cover note should be unique for each job you apply for. There maybe some aspects that are the same but there is a good chance that each job is looking for something different. The same tips should apply for a cover note as a curriculum vitae make sure there are no spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes. Another tip would be address it to the person, if you know their name rather than Dear Sir/Madame.
A Bad Example
I saw your job advertised for a junior pen tester and I really want work in this field. I think I will make a really good tester and hope you will consider my curriculum vitae for the position. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This does not tell the company anything about you or why you are applying for the job. It looks like no effort or thinking has gone into this and as such will end up in the bin even if you have an amazing curriculum vitae this may not even be looked at since the cover note is very poor.