Wednesday, 3 April 2013

C is for... Covering Letters

Covering letters (and CVs) are a vital part of writing any job application. What is even more important is to follow your prospective employer's instructions. If you were taught how to make a job application while at school and still use the same format - it is important to ensure that your style has been updated and that it is in an accepted format.

It has become acceptable to write your covering letter in an email (depending on your industry). Although this will usually be only if requested. If you write an email covering letter when they ask for a covering letter to be attached in full all you are showing the prospective employer is that you can't read instructions...

... so get it right. 

An email covering letter might sound easy but just because it is by email does not mean it is not hard work. It should be a detailed covering letter showing why you are a good match for the job and requires the same care and effort as a regular covering letter if not more: tailored for the job. 

This is an extract from Putting Pen to Paper's upcoming Career Development Workbook, which has a detailed chapter on Covering Letters and CVs.

Discuss in the comments?

Covering Letters can be sent by email. Agreed. But should covering letters be in the body of the email or attached to the email - which format do you prefer (or use) and why? 


  1. cover letters are definitely important not only when job hunting but also when querying agents and publishers :)

  2. Very True - Letter Writing as a whole is a very important skill. :) Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I agree with Nutschell that cover letters are important for all professional purposes. They should be attached to your emails.


  4. I'm coming at this not from a writer's perspective. I may have been doing it wrong all along, but I've always got a job out of it when I use the e-mail as an introduction and cover letter with an attached CV. In my experience an e-mail is the first (and only) impression I get to make.