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Do I really need a cover letter?

I will cut to the chase for those in the time-poor department, YES! Think of your cover letter as the wrapping paper and the CV is the gift- a gift without wrapping paper is just not quite complete. We strongly recommend you submit one for several reasons;


· Some positions gain a huge amount of interest and applications come flooding in. Because of this, recruiters often turn to technology to streamline the process. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) pick up on keywords such as ‘administration experience’ and ‘Class 1 driver's license’ and those applications including the keywords will make it closer to the recruiter's desk. If you can pick out keywords and skills used in an advertisement and use these in your cover letter and CV this will get you one step closer to being invited in for an interview.


· A cover letter gives the employer an indication of who you are as a person. Use it to compliment and build on your CV- be specific and ensure it is not merely a repeat of information already provided in your CV


· If a cover letter has been requested in the advertisement and one is not submitted as part of an application, this will raise concerns in the employer that the applicant lacks attention to detail or ability to follow instructions


Some tips;

· If you are applying for many similar positions create a master cover letter or template specific to you that will just need to be tweaked for each application- it certainly speeds up the process. Be sure to change the job listing number, address and all other information specific to the last job applied for to avoid any embarrassing mistakes.

· Keep it short (1 page!) but interesting, each sentence is valuable real estate- why are you excited to work for this company? What will you add to their team?


· Always address the letter to the hiring person by name if there is one available


· Do some information gathering on the company you are applying with- seek out their website, facebook and linkedin pages- what are their company values?Weave this into your cover letter



Kelsey is a passionate Career Consultant working for Enable Works. Kelsey has full CDANZ membership and has excellent experience working alongside a wide range of people at all stages of their careers. Kelsey is skilled in providing pre-employment preparation, interview skills coaching, CV preparation and job search support. Kelsey can be reached on 022 369 6072 or kelsey@enableworks.co.nz

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