Articles - CV Covering Letter Advice

by Paul Murphy | 22 November 2012



A Covering Letter can play a vital role in boosting your chances of success when applying for that dream job. Along with your CV, a covering letter provides you with an added platform to market your relevant skills and achievements. It also presents you with the opportunity to demonstrate a keen interest in the company and your motivation to be part of their organisation.
It is essential to ensure both the content and presentation of your covering letter are tip-top to have any chance of impressing your prospective employer. You need to showcase your personality and skills in a positive light that leaves them wanting more.
An effective covering letter should address three key areas:

  • Why are you suitable for the job?
  • Why did you chose this employer?
  • Why should they choose you?



Employers will often view your covering letter first, even before they begin to look at your CV. Following recent research, we have found that employers will spend on average 10 seconds viewing each Covering Letter when searching for their ideal candidate. They will be looking for quick information that is clear, concise and to the point.

Certain techniques can also be applied to your Covering Letter that will attract employers and increase your chances of success. Making your potential employer feel special will be very beneficial for your application. If you can, have the Covering Letter addressed to them personally and include the company’s name at the beginning of the letter. Also, include where you found the job advertised.

Applying these techniques will show that you have taken the time to do a little background research and that you are enthusiastic and driven to try and get the job. Sending the same generic Covering Letter to every employer is a common mistake and can reflect badly on candidates when the information provided is not tailor-made to the specific vacancy.


  • Always send one!!! Whenever possible.
  • Use the same paper as your CV, along with the same font and style.
  • Use one A4 page with four or five short paragraphs.
  • Do not include the same information that is already in your CV.
  • When sending a CV by email, check that the employer can open the attachment (Sending a pdf is your safest option)
  • You could treat the email as the covering letter
  • Include your contact details along with the employers.
  • Close with some reference to your availability.

Paul Murphy | Strike-Jobs Journalist | 22 December 2012

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