When applying for a job it's a good idea to include a cover letter, unless the employer specifies they only want an application or a resume. Even if a job listing does not specifically request a cover letter, it can be a terrific way to summarize your skills and experiences and explain (in more detail than a resume) why you are an ideal candidate for the job.
It's important to write a letter that shows what makes you one of the best candidates for the position.
Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expertise of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include and what format to use, here are helpful samples -just remember not to copy them as exact template.
WHAT CONTENT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR COVER LETTER
1. First Paragraph.- Why you are writing.
2. Middle Paragraph.- What you have to offer.
3. Concluding Paragraph.- How you'll follow-up.
'Standard conservative style'
This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work against you.
'Dear Mr. Black,
Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in The Guardian on 30 November.
The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills. For one course, (insert course), an understanding of the (insert sector) industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating.
I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting. I am able to take on the responsability of this position immediately and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
'Standard speculative letter'
This may vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you're applying to,
'Dear Mr. Brown,
I am writing to enquire if you have any vacancies in your company. I enclose my CV for your information.
As you can see, I have had extensive vacation work experience in office environments, the retail sector and service indistries, giving me varied skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. I believe I could fit easily into your team.
I am a conscientious person who works hard and pays attention to detail. I am flexible, quick to pick up new skills and eager to learn from others. I also have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. I am keen to work for a company with a great reputation and high profile like (insert company name).
I have excellent references and would be delighted to discuss any possible vacancy with you at your convenience. In case you do not have any suitable openings at the moment, I would be grateful if you would keep my CV on file for any future possibilities.
Admiting that you have behaved badly is never easy and, in many ways, the handwritten letter is the most acceptable way to deal with the situation. The effort that you have put into the work demonstrates, to some extent, the contrition that you may feel. Bear in mind that your letter should always be as short as possible and to the point, and that trying to incorporate further excuses simply makes you look pathetic and might even make the situation worse.
On a practical note, it may be easier to say 'sorry' in a letter than over the telephone, since you may not wish actually to speak to the person to whom the apology is addressed. 'Sorry' is one of the most prized words in the English language and when people hear it they are often willing to forgive a great deal of earlier discomfort.
'Louisa Gender, 53 Downs Road,
East Shilton, SH17 5PJ
42 Mansfield Street
I am so sorry.
I know that's not good enough and that you probably don't want to hear from me right now, but I just wanted you to know how profoundly sorry I am.
I respect your right not to reply to this letter but I hope you feel that you can.