Do I need a cover letter?

So, you’ve perfected your CV, got your Skills Summary printed out and you’ve found a few jobs that you want to apply for – and it’s time to write a cover letter. Maybe the job application even requires it! As explained below, a cover letter is a helpful way of showing your motivation and interest in a role before meeting an employer. It takes some work, but it is worth it. The cover letter template we created should help you as well as the information below.

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is basically a tailored letter you put with your CV when applying for a job. While your CV lays out clear facts, your cover letter gives the reader more insight into your personality.

  • Aim to make your cover letter reflect you in a positive light, as it is almost your first introduction to a prospective employer.
  • Show your enthusiasm for the job you are applying for.
  • A well-crafted cover letter will expand on the information in your CV and give more insight into you, showing your knowledge of and interest in the specific role you are applying for. And it gives the employer a reason to give you an interview, even if you don’t have all the requirements for the job – yet!
  • Use the job requirements as a base for what you will write in your cover letter. You could pick three qualities mentioned in the job application and briefly refer to them in the cover letter. Box ticked.
  • Show evidence of your abilities. This is a great place to include your examples from Skills Summary and link in your own Skills Summary as evidence of your capabilities.
  • Research the company (this is good prep for your interview as well) and mention one or two things that impressed you, or that you can link to your skills/interests.

What should I include in my cover letter?

  • Tell them why you are writing to them.
  • Explain why you want to work for them or are suited to the job vacancy they have advertised.
  • Tell them about yourself – show your enthusiasm!
  • At the end, you should include any important details like when you are available to work from and close with a confident statement of why they should consider you.

What should I check for when finalising my cover letter?

  • It is recommended to have a different cover letter for each job you are applying for. However, this really depends on the sort of job. Often, it is enough to have an outline of a cover letter that you can slightly adapt depending on where you are applying.
  • Consider answering the following ‘questions’ within your cover letter:
    • Why should we hire you? What value would you bring to our company?
    • Why our company/organisation?
    • Why this role?
    • Proofread, proofread and proofread again! Make sure your content is well laid out, clear and has good spelling and grammar. If there is someone you can ask to read through it, this is often helpful.
    • Keep it short – no longer than a page, remember this person is reading not just your cover letter and CV. Keep it short, to the point and positive.

If you would like to read a bit more on this, take a look at Glassdoor’s guide on writing a cover letter. also has a guide and a sample cover letter you may want to look at.