Letter writing

How to write a really effective covering letter

A CV is nearly always accompanied by a covering letter. The purpose of a covering letter is firstly to introduce yourself briefly and explain why you are applying for this particular job, secondly highlight your relevant experience and thirdly to let them know when you are available.

Your covering letter should capture the recipient's attention and be clear cut, definite and to the point. You only have a small window of opportunity to make an impact.

A good covering letter should be no more than three or four paragraphs long on one side of A4 and for the sake of brevity, bullet points are recommended when outlining your relevant experience. Try not to repeat the phrases in your CV word for word.

You should address your covering letter to a named individual. If you're not sure who that is, call the company and ask.

Though it might seem like stating the obvious, always make sure the spelling, grammar and punctuation are absolutely perfect. Ask a friend to proof read it for you. To people receiving letters of application, improper use of English is an annoyance and will take attention away from the actual content.