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4. The cover letter

Although many people say that recruiters do not have time to look at cover letters this does not mean you should pay little attention to them. You may be told to quickly make up a few paragraphs just as a way to accompany the resume - but such an approach may not work in your favour.

It is important to think carefully as to what to put in your covering letter. There is a general guideline to follow that will get you noticed and have your resume read in detail. You should consider the cover letter as your introduction and initial sales pitch to the recruiter. If you have them hooked, then they will pay more attention to your resume.

Your covering letter will give the recruiter an idea of your personality, your experience and qualifications, how they fit in to their organisation and especially how well you can communicate.

So how do you write a good cover letter?

  • Address it to the person responsible for recruitment if possible - call the company to find out and also put down their job title. The personal touch
  • Introduce yourself with a reason for writing - the job you are applying for and where you saw it. Why you are writing to the person
  • Choose a few of the qualities that you can bring to the organisation and match them to the job you are applying for. Explaining and persuading the interviewer to see you
  • Explain why you want to work for their organisation. Use knowledge from newspapers and company reports. What's the attraction for you - Is it the culture, philosophy, products or services? A bit of flattery can be a useful tool
  • Include where and how you can be reached and suggest to the opportunity to discuss the opportunity further. You can also include that during the next week you will be in contact to enquire if you can arrange a mutually convenient time. Closing the sales pitch and arranging for further action
  • Finish of with "yours sincerely" if writing to a known person or "yours faithfully" if you are writing to "dear sir/madam". Finally your signature, and you should be on your way to the job you want

Overall, you must imagine what the recruiter wants to know and hear. Doing this with clarity will put you closer to the job on offer.

Remember to make a copy of your cover letter and resume that you have sent for future reference.