The Covering Letter

Within the last twenty years, we have seen a massive shift in communication methods and styles. Can you remember the last time that you received a hand written letter? We often feel ‘lost’ if we don’t have regular access to our mobile phones or email accounts. Technology has not only changed the way that we communicate, it has enabled us to be part of a ‘smaller world’.

This has a huge impact on the recruitment world. Companies can now receive mails from individuals applying for positions instantaneously. Individuals can apply for jobs a lot more easily in current times. The traditional styles involved reading through local and national papers and forwarding our CV and cover letter to the specified company.

In current times, cover letters or even cover ‘mail notes’ have changed enormously. Communication in general has become a lot more relaxed with many people using ‘abbreviated text language’ as part of their job application process.

Although this is becoming more common, never use ‘text’ language as part of your job application. Always use full words and spellings; never use ‘u’ or ‘2mrw’. It illustrates lack of respect and lack of professionalism which are key factors in interview success. You are never going to ‘high five’ the interviewer as you exit your meeting so why use text language to communicate with them? Cover letters or cover mails (which are completely acceptable ) should be well written and time should be given to their preparation. It should briefly contain the following:

The position that you are applying for (job number if applicable ) and source of advertisement (i.e. Irish jobs etc )

* Your current position/job title

* BRIEFLY explain how your work experience relates to the vacant job

* Your availability for interview

* Your contact details

Long cover letters are off-putting and are rarely fully read. A snappy, professional cover letter helps you communicate your current situation to the interviewer.

Cover letters should be…

* Well spelt (always utilise the spell checker )

* Concise

* Professional

* Be careful of the wording of your mail, it could be misinterpreted

* Always re-read the mail before you send it. It is frustrating and insulting for an interviewer to receive a job application with another company/person’s name on it.

* Turn the CAP LOCKS off.

Also, do send one group mail to twenty different companies. It is lazy and and makes ZERO impact.

Make your cover letter impressive. Go to the trouble of finding the recruiter/employers specific name and job title. Email them/write to them directly and tailor it to suit the post. If the job advertisement is requiring three years management experience, briefly outline what type of leadership skills you possess in your opening letter. Make it easy for the interviewer to select you!

Fidelma Wallace is a human resource specialist, and a highly-experienced interviewer in all areas of business. She is also a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP ) practitioner. She is attached to, the leading interview and Cv preparation organisation in the west of Ireland.


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