Covering Letter… yes or no?

Covering Letters have got something of a bad press lately with a lot of modern recruiters saying that they are no longer relevant. I suspect that their demise may be a tad exaggerated – even though it’s far easier to let Linked In’s algorithms do the work when there are 120 letters of varying quality to plough through on top of the CVs.

But I think a well written, relevant covering note can really help your application to stand out from the crowd. Especially if it shows clearly that you’ve thoroughly read the job description and isn’t just a rehashed version of your CV’s opening summary.

For example this following letter prompted a phone call from the recruiter with 90 minutes of me clicking the send button on my application. Why do I think it worked? Well it was relatively short at three paragraphs. It showed that I had read the job description and more importantly offered relevant information that wasn’t on my CV in terms of my background as a former financial journalist.

There was also a hint of flattery too in my praise for the job description. So here it is in full:


Hello there,

here’s an application for the role of SEO and Content Manager for your consideration, just like those ads they put in Variety at Oscar season. There are a lot of boxes to tick in your excellent job description, and I would be surprised if any candidate ticked them all. But I certainly tick most in the required section and the bulk in the desired area.

I’ve attached my CV but would also emphasise that I started as a trained journalist and worked regularly for the Financial Times. So while I may not have worked for a company in the highly regulated financial sector, I have certainly written about them. I even know what EBITDA stands for, and can make a good fist at explaining what it means, too.

Thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon to continue the conversation.


Mat Toor