The CV Covering Letter
When sending a CV or application form by land mail, it is important to send them with a covering letter. This letter gives you the opportunity to summarise to the potential employer why you are the right person for the job. You therefore need to carefully tailor your letter to the job vacancy. Do not just copy parts from your CV.
The covering letter is usually the first document that the recruiter will see and has to make an impact. You must show that you have the skills and experience to do the advertised job. You do not need to have an identical match to their requirements as you need to learn some new things to hold your interest and keeping you there is in the employer’s interest.
If you are applying by e-mail, you can copy your covering letter into the body of the e-mail text, or include it as an attachment.
Guidelines for All Letter Types
The points to note when applying for the job are:
- Get the exact name (spelling is important) of the person you are sending the letter to, and their address.
- Get the correct title for the recruiter e.g. Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr or Mr.
- If no named person get the correct department to send it.
- Use the same type of paper as used for your CV.
- Use the business letter format e.g. if addressing the letter to a person’s name, end the letter with 'Yours sincerely'. If using 'Dear Sir/Madam', end with 'Yours faithfully'.
- Always type the letter unless hand writing is specified.
- End the letter with the name you wish to be known e.g. by Jim rather than James.
- Keep the letter to less than one page.
- Keep a copy of the letter along with the CV for your records.
- Always double check the spelling. Get a friend to help, as often when proof reading, people read the same mistakes over and over again.
Follow Up Applications
Always follow up on applications, it can provide essential feedback.
If you do not get an interview, it is useful to know ‘why’ as it can help improve your CV and letters.
If the interviewer has not made a decision, it gives you an opportunity to sell yourself and show your enthusiasm for the job.
Follow up with a phone call after two weeks after the closing date for applications.