What is a covering letter and why should I write one?
If you are applying for a role and the employer offers you the option of including a CV covering letter, you should always take advantage of this. This is your opportunity to let the employer know why you want the job and why you are the best candidate for the position.
What is a Covering Letter?
It is usually a letter addressed to your interviewer or whoever you are sending your CV to. It is sent in accompaniment of your CV and will on most occasions be no longer than one side of A4. Some employers will specifically request a covering letter, whilst others may leave it up to you. It is always a good idea to send a covering letter with every job application, you will never be viewed negatively for sending a covering letter, but you might if you don’t.
Why write a Covering Letter?
It provides another opportunity to sell yourself and allows you to put your CV in context with the organisation and role you are applying for.
You are able to demonstrate, in a few short paragraphs, why you are applying for the role and how you and your CV are suitable for the position. It might also be useful here to highlight key points of your CV – especially those that are particularly relevant to the role. Check any job advert and pick out the key themes that appear important, showing briefly how you meet those criteria.
When is it essential to include a covering letter?
Speculative applications. If you have not seen a particular vacancy advertised but you have a specific desire or interest in an organisation, it is essential that you include a covering letter. Otherwise, your CV will arrive at the employer unexpected and un-introduced.