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5 things to remember when writing a cover letter


A good covering letter or email will help your CV stand out from the many others that will pass over the recruiting manager’s desk. These five tips will help you through this simple but important stage:

Format your cover letter

It needs to be properly formatted, readable and without any spelling mistakes. The obvious mistakes to avoid are spelling and grammatical errors as well as formatting errors such as switching from one typeface to another.  The letter should address the contact mentioned and quote the reference.

Get personal

If you know somebody who works at the company mention their name.  This way your covering letter will be reviewed more closely. Furthermore if you can ask this person to recommend you for the job, do so and enlist their help in writing the perfect cover letter!

Furthermore make specific reference to how you learned about the job and if you can, anchor your reason for wanting to join their company to their mission statement, (or vision and values).

Show you’re relevant

An employer will use a covering letter and CV to shortlist the most relevant candidates. Make sure your letter is specifically tailored to the role by listing the skills, abilities, and experience the role requires and when you have gained, demonstrated, and developed these skills.  If you can clearly and concisely demonstrate you have what the employer is looking for your chances of being shortlisted are increased.

If for any reason you don’t feel you have the exact skills for the role clearly highlight your transferable skills and ability to learn quickly.

Address the important question

That is, why are you looking for a new job? Remember; never be negative about your current employer.

Formatting an email cover letter

Whatever an employer requests follow their instructions. Send the email message to yourself first to test the formatting to check everything looks as it should. Once you are satisfied, resend to the employer. In the subject line of your email place your name and the position you are applying for.