A covering letter is used in conjunction with a CV to help job seekers win a interview. It is a important document that should be well written, concise and list what you consider to be your strongest points.
You should see your covering letter as extension of your CV and as a opportunity for you to summarize your skill sets. It should set the tone for your CV and to build a immediate positive impression of you.
On this page you will find guidance to help you write a professional covering letter that will in turn help you to maximise your chances of being invited to a interview.
What to put in a covering letter:
If at all possible try to get the name of the person who is advertising the vacancy and address your covering letter to them. This helps to ensure that your CV reaches the actual decision maker.
Try to have a letterhead on any letter that you send, it makes it look more professional.
Include your name, address, telephone number and email address at the bottom.
Give the recipients address at the top of the letter.
Include the date at the top of the page.
At the top of the page insert the job title you are applying for or its reference number .
Mention what you are looking for, what you are qualified for and evidence to back up your claims.
Other covering letter tips:-
Use good quality A4 sized paper to print out your covering letter, preferably 100 grams. Do not use colored paper, just simple white.
Keep the letter as short as possible and only one page long. Include no more than four paragraphs.
Make sure the printer you use to print out the letter is of a high quality, laser printers are ideal. After printing it check to make sure there are no smudges in the letter.
Select a conservative type font like Arial or Times New Roman, try to remain conservative, don’t be artistic. Only use the bold option on keywords that you want to emphasize.
Use a size between 10 or 12 points.
You should always use black and do not include any other colors to highlight points etc.
As a rule your covering letter should be fully justified, meaning that the text is aligned to both the left and right margins. Any word processing tool like Word can do this for you.
Proof reading and spelling mistakes
It is also a good idea to read your own letter a number of times to make sure it sounds right and conveys your message. You should also use a spell checker to correct any spelling mistakes.