Your CV should rarely leave your desktop unless accompanied by a covering letter as they can be a major determinant of an applicant’s success. Demonstrating your career interests and highlighting your most relevant strengths and experiences, a professionally set out letter can say a lot about your motivation and your attention to detail.
The purpose of the covering letter is to introduce yourself and make the employer aware that you are applying for the position.
Cover letters should be kept short and to the point with as little detail as possible (as most of this will be covered in your CV).
If possible try to contact the employer to see if there is someone who you can address the letter to, (this shows that you have made an effort to contact the company and can also leave a positive impression.
It should provide a logical sequence of information designed to capture the reader's attention
Tips to remember:
• Keep the cover letter to one side of A4 paper
• It should be set out like a standard business letter starting with for example;
‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and ending in ‘Yours faithfully’ or if you do not have a contact
‘Dear Mrs. Smith’ and ending in ‘Yours sincerely’.
• It should highlight your most important factors on your CV and what you can offer them.
• Summarise your skills and achievements and illustrate how these are relevant to the job being applied for.
• Use positive and active words where possible, e.g. achieved, organised, negotiated.
• Use the opportunity to persuade the employer that you are confident that you can do the job and make sure that the tone of the cover letter is enthusiastic.