Writing a Covering Letter

A cover letter is an essential part of almost every job application and possibly the most underrated part of the entire application process. A well written covering letter is a great addition to a CV when applying for jobs which can make a difference on how employable you are.

Do your research, look into the role you are applying for and the company, use this information to tailor your letter accordingly. Tailoring your letter for each specific job is critical, using a standard cover letter or a letter written too quickly will not get you that interview. Don’t underestimate the importance of this introduction.

Use an easy-to-read font, and don’t get carried away with embellishments. Aside from ensuring its written using clear paragraphs – it also should be the right length. Too long, and you’ll risk rambling. Too short, and you’re unlikely to have covered key points.

Your covering letter needs to engage your reader as quickly as possible. Like any good advert or marketing brochure, it if doesn’t capture your audience attention within a couple of seconds, your efforts have been wasted.

  1. Get to the point as quickly possible, avoiding unnecessary elaboration
  2. Try to be original, so avoid making claims or writing meaningless cliché which they have read a thousand times before
  3. Remove anything that is not relevant – don’t risk losing their attention
  4. Make sure the tone of your letter reflects the content

What to include in your cover letter:

  1. Your personal details (e.g. name, address, phone number)
  2. Address your letter to the hiring manager if possible
  3. The title of the position you are applying for
  4. Where you found the vacancy details
  5. Why you are suitable for the job
  6. What you can bring to the company
  7. A closing statement

When closing your letter, sign off with ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the name of the hiring manager), or ‘Yours faithfully’ (if you don’t), followed by your name.