How your CV and Cover Letter work together as a team

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With most job applications you require a covering letter along with your CV. The covering letter is generally read first, and this is the first impression you get to make – so it needs to count!

While your CV provides a record of your professional history, qualifications, skills and abilities, your covering letter is a chance to make a solid first impression and outline reasons why you are applying for the job.

Some good points to remember when writing a covering letter is that it is a professional document, and should be treated with the same level of care and accuracy as your CV.

So what do you need to consider when writing a covering letter?

The font, style, and language used should match your CV to provide a cohesive approach.

Make sure you include your current contact information. You would be surprised how many people don’t include a contact phone number or email address with their application.
When you address your letter, do so according to the job advertisement. If there is no name given use your initiative to phone the company and ask who the application should be addressed to.

Just as with your CV, your letter needs to be tailored to each application. The base of the information may be the same, but through tailoring the letter for each specific position you can display your enthusiasm for the role and the company you are applying to work with.

We recommend that your covering letter should normally not exceed one page. This keeps it readable and should ‘hook’ the reader into wanting to find more information, directing them to your CV. This will ensure that your CV makes the first cut in the shortlisting process, and your CV is thoroughly read to confirm your suitability for the position.

If there is an application reference in the advertisement, this should be included.

Briefly outline the reason for your letter and provide an overview of your skills, experience, knowledge and education that make you a match for the position.

Don’t forget to include some of your soft skills, personal traits, and excitement and enthusiasm about securing this position and working for this company.

Don’t forget to refer the reader to your CV to expand on any information in more detail, and offer to be contacted at any time to discuss your application.

Remember – your covering letter is just as vital as your CV in helping you to secure an interview! For a CV service that gets results review our CV and cover letter writing services or contact us for a free, no obligation review of your CV.