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You are here: Browse jobs arrow Cover letters arrow Do you really need a Cover Letter? Yes!
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Do you really need a Cover Letter? Yes!

Many people ask this question and the answer is a resounding "Yes!". Even if all of the relevant information is contained in your resume, you still need a cover letter to accompany your resume. It is true that not all cover letters are read, but it can be the added touch that ensures your success. A cover letter is an important part of the complete package. You are trying to market and sell your brand (you) to a prospective employer and a cover letter adds value to a well-written resume.

A cover letter is also known as a job application letter and should be part of the documents that you send when you are seeking a job interview. The only purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to the potential employer and to spark the interest of the employer to read your resume and contact you for a job interview. You have to look at it as one more link in the strong cable that is your personal advertising campaign.

You should take care to ensure that each cover letter is created for the individual position and person. It is not enough these days to merely send off a generic cover letter and hope that it does the job.

Personalizing your Cover Letter

Having a personal cover letter shows the reader that you have taken the time to find out whom they are, their position in the organization and have shown some initiative. Being pro-active and doing some research on the company where you are applying for a job can be the edge that you need to succeed. A generic letter only shows the reader that you could not be bothered to take the time to find out about them. It will mean that they will not be bothered to call you in for an interview!

Remember that your cover letter will be the first impression of you that crosses the desk of the potential employer, so you must take care and attention when drafting your letter. If you don't capture the interest of the reader then, your brilliantly written resume may not even be read. When writing a cover letter is vital to include the keywords that the potential employer has highlighted in the job description. Link these keywords to your skills attributes and the employer will be able to see immediately that you fulfill the basic requirements of the job. If they are interested, they will read your resume and call you in for that all important job interview where you can really sell yourself.

Your cover letter should be short and have the relevant information contained in the first few sentences. You can even use a small table if need be to show that you have the skills that they have requested. Keep it neat and easy to read at all times and always ensure that you have proof read the letter to eliminate all spelling errors and grammar mistakes.

Your cover letter should contain all of your personal contact details at the top of the page and you should follow a format that is easy to read. Avoid using clichés like 'To whom it may concern'. Address the letter personally to the person who is going to be reading it. If the job application does not have those details, then a quick phone call will get you the information that you need. An effective cover letter should be concise and grab the attention of the reader in the first two sentences and you will find that you are right on top of the list for an interview.