Why should you use a covering letter when applying for a job vacancy?

Cover letter

A cover letter is typically used when applying for a job vacancy to introduce yourself to the recruitment company or the company  Human Resources department, to express your interest in the vacancy.  It is an add on to accompany your CV/Resume to increase your chances with the job application.

Essentially, you are looking to capture the attention of the hiring manager.

What is ideally included in a Cover Letter?

  • Firstly, you want to introduce yourself, so the cover letter gives you an opportunity to provide an introduction, explain who you are and the vacancy you are applying for and most importantly why you are interested in the position and the skills you have to match the criteria set in the job advertisement.
  • This is where you add a summary of your qualifications, skills etc and accomplishments that highlight you as a strong candidate for the position. You want to show the hiring manager how your skills align to their vacancy.
  • Always show enthusiasm. A well written cover letter demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job and company.  You can personalize this with some research you have done on the Company and why you ideally would like to work there.
  • Address any gaps or unique circumstances. Maybe you have a gap in your employment history with a valid reason that needs and explanation, and a cover letter allows an opportunity to raise this. You want to provide context and make the reader understand your background better.
  • Communication and writing skills. Being able to write an effective covering letter shows your ability to communicate professionally.  Employers often look at strong written communication skills – please take note of spelling and grammar too! Tools like Grammarly can assist you here.
  • Attention to detail – if you write an effective cover letter it shows you have taken time and effort and that always leaves a lasting good impression. And that of course is what you want the reader to remember you and make you and your CV stand out in the crowd.

Example of a Cover Letter

Please find example of Cover letter – courtesy of Zhureena Basadien of ATZ Consulting.
(Click on wording of cover letter and it will download in the background)

What are all aspects of the job search?