Writing a Covering Letter
A covering letter should always be included when you are sending additional information to a company. More commonly associated with applying for a job - in this instance, a covering letter would be written to accompany your CV. In fact, many people who apply for jobs, who might even be the best qualified candidates, often end up being rejected without a HR department even bothering to give their CV a second glance as it has just been posted without a covering letter.
Covering letters aren’t just for job applications, however. They might be needed to explain other types of additional documentation you have included. It might be a job estimate which you will need to explain or you may be writing to a creditor who has asked you to send them a financial statement. In fact, anything you’re planning to enclose which needs further explanation requires a covering letter to tell the reader what it is you’re seeking to achieve. For the purpose of this article, however, the rest of the information would apply to a covering letter you’re writing to support a job application.
How to Write itYou’ll have heard this time and again….”first impressions count” and that is certainly true of a covering letter for a job where HR departments can be inundated with job applications so it’s important that yours leaves a lasting impression. Remember, a covering letter and a CV isn’t designed to get you the job but to get you to the next stage which is for you to be invited to an interview which, hopefully, will get you the job.
The beginning of your letter should state that you are applying for the position and where and when you saw it advertised. Also, include any relevant reference number that may have been given. State your current position and why you are looking to apply for the job, outlining any relevant skills that the company are looking for which should be mentioned in the advert. Keep to the point as much of the information they will be seeking will be contained within your CV.
Your letter should only be a few paragraphs long at best and no more than a page long. Here is a good example of a cover letter.
|Ref: Job Number 1234/AB|
Dear Mr Jones
I would like to apply for the position of Telemarketing Team Leader which was advertised in the Bloomsbury Gazette on 24 January, 2008.
I have been working as an Assistant Team Leader for Gordon’s Chemicals for the past two years, having worked at the company for the past five years in total. Within my current role, I am responsible for the collating of all the team’s sales statistics and rely upon good communication skills to not only enable me to discuss the team’s performance with my manager but to also feed that information back to my colleagues and to help them further improve their performance.
Over the past year, I have been asked to stand in as Acting Team Leader whenever my manager is on holiday and I now feel I am ready to take the next step and that I have the necessary skills and personal qualities to move up a level into a management role.I am attracted to your vacancy as I am well aware that you have one of the best training programmes and career development structures within the chemicals sector and I believe I would be able to progress even further working for your company.
I enclose my CV and look forward to hearing from you.