Tips For Writing A Cover Letter To Accompany Your CV
Candidates often wonder if it is necessary to write a cover letter to accompany their CV when applying for jobs.
The answer to this is yes, BUT, you will need to ensure that the following steps/tips are followed to ensure that you get this right! You definitely don’t want to send out a cover letter addressed to the incorrect person or company, or even refer to a different position to what you are applying for. That is why it is important to pay attention to detail and not to send the same cover letter for every position you apply for.
1. Make the cover letter easy to read and match it with your CV (Curriculum Vitae).
There is no point sending a cover letter that doesn’t match your skills and experience.
The cover letter needs to work in unity with your CV, but be careful not to repeat your entire CV.
2. Address the hiring manager directly if possible, as a starting point. Then write an attention-grabbing heading or introduction. Use clear, concise language.
Don’t be afraid to think out of the box with your heading, but also don’t use inappropriate language either to grab attention.
An example of this could be conveying enthusiasm for the organisation, using a quote or little-known fact or even an interesting incident or anecdote.
3. Do not create a long cover letter, longer than a half a page is not necessary. Get to the point.
It is important to bear in mind that the person reading your cover letter and CV more than likely has another 80 to 100 or even more cover letters and CV's to read through. It is important that your cover letter is concise and factual.
4. Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job and a good fit for the company.
Tell a convincing story about what you will bring to the position and how it will help the organisation. Quickly establish yourself as a qualified applicant.
5. Don’t repeat information from your CV.
Yes, this is a repeat of what has been listed above, but again, an important point to make!
Mention your achievements, accolades, exceeding KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), scholarships, being a top performer, innovations/ideas that were implemented, recognition from co-workers and/or managers, specific projects worked on, promotions etc.
6. Avoid clichés, abbreviations, acronyms and jargon.
You don’t want to confuse the person who is reading your CV with clichés, abbreviations, acronyms and jargon. At times this can make the reader disconnect from your cover letter and can lead to miscommunication.
7. Proofread and get a second opinion if necessary.
If in doubt, get another opinion from someone you trust, to provide input and adjustments to your cover letter, if needed.
8. And finally, use the right formal closing and include your name, email address and contact number:
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
- Thank you,
This article was written by Colleen Langston, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Vodacom.