What is a cover letter?

This is a one page letter which would often be addressed directly to the hiring manager or HR manager if the name is unknown. The cover letter would sit on top of the CV and would be the first page an employer would read. The letter aims to be more personable and address a few main points –

  1. Why the candidate has applied.
  2. What attracted them to the role.
  3. What skills, qualifications and experience they have to offer.

How effective will a cover letter be?

This can vary greatly between employers, but overall a cover letter will have a positive effect on your application and boost your chances of getting an interview. There are very rare cases when an employer wouldn’t want to see a cover letter, and they would usually state this on the job advert. However, in most scenarios the employer will read it, quickly skip through it, or not read it at all.

When up against many other applicants who are just as skilled and qualified, writing a cover letter can be the icing on the cake and make a candidate stand out from the crowd. However, a poorly written cover letter can get things off to a bad start before the employer has even read the CV, and could result in rejection.

A professionally written cover letter should always be tailored to the role to ensure the hiring manager sees how dedicated you are. A generic cover letter will only frustrate the employer and decrease your chances of success – and the same can be said for a generic CV.