Friday, 14 October 2011

Why do I need to do a covering letter?

Many of the jobs that people in the public sector apply for require a CV and a supporting statement; so I get asked about what to do about a covering letter.
Think logically about what the person who is reading all this information wants to know.
They want to know what you have done, your experience, qualifications  and your  skills. The Cv will tell them about your experience. It will set out your key achievements in reverse chronological order. It will tell them about your main achievements from which they can see what sort of skills you have got. If your Cv is a skeleton your supporting statement is the flesh and blood.
Your supporting statement should give some expanded examples of what you have done and how you did it. It is used to judge whether you have the skills; so structure it around the person spec and talk about what you did and how you did it.
So where does that leave the covering letter. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader; what else do they want to know? Well why you want the job, whether you understand the job, whether you are committed to the job. Don’t waste your opportunity to sell your enthusiasm by saying ‘herewith, attached is my application’. Use it as part of convincing them that they should meet with you.
CV, supporting statement and cover letter are the holy trinity of applications, use each well.
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