Covering Letter: How to Write One

A covering letter is a document that summarizes you skills, abilities (basically everything you have on your CV). A good covering letter should be restricted to a single A4 page. Anything longer than one page for this purpose can hardly be considered a summary.


An effective covering letter is brief, tailored to fit the job being applied for and states why you are interested in and suitable for the position.


Writing an Effective Covering Letter

Before you send your application/covering letter, ensure you have read the requirements of the job you are applying for. Some job adverts require you to quote reference codes, preferred work location or availability.The following pointers will guide the content of your covering letter;

  • A covering letter is a formal letter, start with your address and continue with that of the recruiter
  • Add a subject, which should include the name and reference of the position you are applying for
  • Body of the covering letter
    • Introduction: Write the name and reference of the position you are applying for and details of where you found the job vacancy advertisement. Also, disclose the documents you have attached with your application (eg CVs and certificates).
    • Body:  The body of your covering letter should outline the following;
      • What are you doing at the moment (work/education)?
      • Why are you interested in the position?
      • Why are you interested in the organisation?
      • What skills and experience do you have? Focus on those that are relevant to the job being applied for
    • Conclusion:  End your covering letter by stating your availability for an interview and a suitable sign-off.


  • Some job adverts will state a preference for applicants that reside within certain locations. If you do not live in such areas and are willing to relocate, it is important you add this to your covering letter (conclusion).
  • Where you do not have sufficient work experience (eg entry level) focus on academic achievements and include you future career plans such as professional certifications you are working towards achieving.
  • If you are sending your covering letter via email, paste it on the body of your email instead of attaching it.


Simple, isn’t it!



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