Definition: cover letter
n. A letter sent with other documents to explain more fully or provide more information. Also called covering letter. (From the American Heritage Dictionary care of Dictionary.com)
Covering letters date back to the days when hard copy mail and faxing of resumes was the only way to submit resumes. They were used as a way of introduction and to highlight the key skills of the jobseeker to the employer.
These days, the body of the email with the resume attached has replaced this function in many jobseekers minds. Many online applications don’t allow for this, meaning your resume ends up in the inbox of the recruiter or employer with only your email address, the title of the job you applied for and the resume.
Cover letters sent as a separate document are seen by many as an annoyance as the employer or recruiter would prefer to see the resume and the covering letter in one document, making the screening process more efficient.
So what are the elements of an excellent covering letter?
If you’re applying to a number of similar positions, chances are you’re tweaking one letter and using it for multiple openings. That’s fine, as long as you are customizing each one. Don’t forget to update the company, job and contact information – if Mr. Jones is addressed as Mrs. Smith, your application will go straight into the bin.
Covering letter template (feel free to copy and paste)
Date: Monday, September 29, 2016
Dear Mr Keeley,
I wish to apply for the position of CEO of MACRO Recruitment (Ref #: 8789a) as advertised on the MACRO Recruitment website on the 29th September 2008.
I have 16 years previous experience in recruitment and have worked for the last two years as CEO for ACME Recruitment. In that time my business division exceeded targets by 20% and increased revenue by 212%.
Other points to note are:
- I have used MYOB v2 to create P&L statements
- I have successfully managed teams of up to 16 staff
- I have successfully tendered and won over $12 million of business for my current employer in the last 12 months
I am interested in your role because I see your company as a progressive innovative recruitment company and wish to be involved in a dynamic team that wants to be the best that they can be.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.