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What is a Covering Letter?

Ah, the age old question: what is a covering letter? It’s the cream cheese to your bagel, the Ant to your Dec, the dressing on your salad, the…ok, you get our drift. In more concrete terms, it ‘covers’ your CV, fills in the gaps and provides the information that your CV lacks.

When applying for jobs or internships, a covering letter is the piece of paper which you send off with your CV. In paper form, covering letters literally cover your CV when they’re placed on top. In this day and (digital) age, most covering letters are either put in the body of an email or attached to said email.

If anything, this has caused many job applicants to regard covering letters as not being particularly important. However, you should never underestimate the power of a well-written covering letter.

Believe us, they aren’t just a lesser accompaniment to your CV; they are of equal importance. You’ll pretty much always need to include a covering letter with your CV, unless you’re handing your CV out at a careers fair, sending it off to a recruitment agency, or completing an online application.

A covering letter is used to justify why you’re applying for a particular job at a specific organisation. It allows you to discuss your relevant skills and gives you an opportunity to highlight any relevant work experience or achievements that you feel should be brought to the employer’s attention.

It’s a much more personal document, showcasing your writing style and giving the recruiter a sense of the person behind the factual CV.

Now you know what a covering letter is, you should probably find out how to write a covering letter

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