How to: Write a Cover Letter

 

You’ve been asked to send a cover letter. What’s the first step? Just as with your CV, a personalised cover letter should be sent for each job application that has been written specifically for that position. The cover letter is an intro to the CV and the decider of whether to actually go on to read the CV, so it needs to capture the reader’s attention. Keeping this in mind, do not repeat what has been said in your CV, supplement it, have new information and expand on critical areas so that the CV and cover letter together give the full picture of who you are and what you can bring to the position.

 

To Whom it May NOT Concern

Find out the name of the HR, recruiter, hiring manager and address the cover letter to the name of the person receiving it. If it is not clear from the job application, do the research and figure it out. It shows a real interest in the job and that you took the time and care to properly address the letter.

Introduction

Highlight the exact position you are applying for and how you came across the position. Then introduce yourself, give some background on your qualifications, skills and experience. Use this section to sell yourself a little, but don’t go on too much, keep it to the point. Also, do not use the approach “I believe that I am the best fit …”, it doesn’t matter what you believe, you have to SHOW it through your skills and abilities.

Make the Links

Link your skills, attributes and experience to the job advertisement. This should be done in such a way that you describe how you fit the role and what you can bring to the company. You can use the job description as a checklist, mentioning all of the key points. Some background research on the company values, mission and goals will be useful to direct your approach.

Length

¾ of a page is more than enough. Some employers give a 200-word limit and this is a good basis to work off.

Call to action

End it off with a call to action, such as:
I hope to have the opportunity for a personal interview to further discuss the needs of your company and how I can meet them. My contact number is xxx-xxx-xxx, please feel free to contact me. 
Mention your intention for an interview, and make sure to include contact details in the same paragraph.

Do as much research as possible about the company and the person who will be reading the cover letter. Demonstrating that you have taken the time to understand the company will always stand out and be in your favour. For more information, staffing solutions or job opportunities, please contact us at info@recruitdigital.co.za

 

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