Career Advice: Cover letter for cv

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What is a cover letter for cv?

A covering letter or cover letter for cv, in essence, is an advert for your CV. As it will most likely be read before your CV, it should be convincing and it must grab the employer’s attention enough to encourage them to read any attached Curriculum Vitae.

How to write a cover letter

No one likes job hunting. Scouring through online job boards, spiffing up your cv, prepping for grueling interviews, none of it’s fun. But perhaps the most challenging part of the process is writing an effective cover letter for cv. There’s so much conflicting advice out there, it’s hard to know where to start. Indeed, in an age of digital communication, many might question whether you even need a cover letter anymore.

Do I really need to send a covering letter?

The answer is yes. Not sending a cover letter could come accross as a sign of laziness. Even if only one in two cover letters gets read, that’s still a 50% chance that including one could help you get an interview. Including a cover letter with your cv gives you an opportunity to distinguish yourself and stand out from the crowd.

How do I write a cover letter?

Open Strong

Start with a strong opening line explaining why this job is exciting to you and why you’re right for it. For example, “Your company recently advertised on the freerecruit website for an Administration Position. After reading the job description, I am confident that I would be a perfect fit for the position as my skills, ability and qualifications precisely match your requirements”

Chances are the hiring manager or recruiter is reading a stack of these, so you want to catch their attention.

But don’t try to be funny. If you have a personal connection with the company or someone who works there, also mention it in the first sentence or two. And always address your letter to someone directly.

Emphasize your value

Hiring managers are looking for people who can help them solve problems. Drawing on the research you did earlier, show that you know what the company does and some of the challenges it faces. These don’t need to be specific but you might mention a trend that’s affected the industry. Then talk about how your experience has equipped you to meet those needs; perhaps explain how you solved a similar problem in the past or share a relevant accomplishment.

Convey enthusiasm

Make it clear why you want the position. Don’t bother applying if you’re not excited about some aspect of the company or role. Sending out 100 résumés is a waste of time. Find the companies you want to work for and put some heart and soul into it. At the same time, don’t go overboard with the flattery or say anything you don’t mean. Authenticity is crucial. Be professional and mature.

Keep it short

Much of the advice out there tells you to keep it under a page. You do have to cover a lot of ground, but you should do it in a brief and clearly expressed manner.

When you can’t submit a cover letter

Many companies now use online application systems that don’t allow for a cover letter. You may be able to figure out how to include one in the same document as your résumé but that’s not a guarantee, especially because some systems only allow for data to be entered into specific boxes. In these cases, use the format you’re given to demonstrate your ability to do the job and your enthusiasm for the role. If possible, you may try to find someone to who you can send a brief follow-up email highlighting a few key points about your application.

Principles to Remember

Do:

  • Have a strong opening statement that makes clear why you want the job and why you’re right for it
  • Be succinct — a hiring manager should be able to read it at a glance
  • Share a accomplishment that shows you can address the challenges the employer faces

Don’t:

  • Try to be funny.
  • Send a generic cover letter, instead customize each one for the specific job.
  • Go overboard with flattery, be professional and mature.

Download a free cover letter for cv sample below

cover letter for cv download sample

Below is a link to a video offering some advice on cover letter for your cv

Now that you have the perfect cover letter for your cv, go and find your perfect job at www.freerecruit.co.za

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