How to Write a Perfect CV Cover Letter

Adding quality cover letters to your CV has become quite an essential aspect when applying for a new position. Having a good CV cover letter might just be the extra edge that a potential employer is looking for. At Job Mail we realize the importance of this and we’ve decided to give you some pointers in regards to writing the perfect CV cover letter.

Before Writing Your Cover Letter:

  1. If you don’t already have a CV, write one first: The experiences and skills you list on your CV should be tailored to the particular position you’re applying for. It should reflect the strengths that will be desirable to your potential employer.
  2. Research the target business / organization: This isΒ so you can include info or facts relating to your desired job or industry. This will not only help you in writing a relevant cover letter but it will also be useful if you get an interview. Some key items you should ask yourself are: “What is the employer’s mission?” “What do they promote as setting themselves apart from competitors?” “What kind of customer base do they cater for?” “What kinds of people are in their target market?” “What are the company / organization’s values?” “What is the history of the employer?” And so forth.
  3. Take the time to write a targeted cover letter for each employer: This means customizing the cover letter you write for the potential employer that is offering the position. The cover letter should specifically relate your skills to the job you are applying for. This shows the employer that you’re taking it seriously.
  4. Analyze the job: Read the job description carefully. Check for the noted and assumed needs and determine the most important skills, qualifications and experience the employer is looking for. Write them down, and put a check mark next to the ones you have.

Tips on How to Write The Perfect CV Cover Letter:

  1. First paragraph: State why you are writing, indicating your interest in the job. If someone you know referred you to a potential employer, be sure to mention it. The reader of the letter will be encouraged to keep reading when they see a name that they recognize.
  2. Second / Third paragraph: In these paragraphs outline your qualifications and match them to the requirements of the position. Show enthusiasm and your desire to help the company reach its goals. Show the potential employer what you can contribute to their bottom line, not what you want to get out of the deal. Use what you’ve researched about the employer’s background and history. Try to make 2 or 3 solid points, backed up by specific examples. Relate some relevant details about the company so the employer knows you did some research ahead of time.
  3. Final paragraph: Include a positive statement or question that will cause the employer to want to take action. Make this closing paragraph between 2-4 sentences. Direct the employer to the enclosed CV, make your availability known for an interview, and if you want to be assertive, state when you will contact them to set up a meeting time to discuss the opportunity in further detail. Provide your own contact information (phone number, e-mail address) and welcome them to get in touch. It’s very important to finish off by thanking the employer for their time and consideration.
  4. Conclude your CV Cover Letter with “Yours sincerely,” (if you have addressed the letter to a named person), “Yours faithfully,” (if you have used a “Dear Sir” approach) or “Regards.”

What Not To Do:

  1. Avoid cliches and meaningless or wordy expressions.
  2. Remember that your cover letter should compliment, not duplicate your CV.
  3. Also remember that your cover letter is often the first contact with an employer, make sure it creates a good impression.
  4. It’s also important to take the time to target your cover letter to the job you are applying for.
  5. Make sure that there are no spelling / grammar errors on your CV cover letter.

We hope that you will find these hints helpful whilst job hunting. Feedback on this post is appreciated and welcome.

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26 Responses

  1. Thandeka says:

    Can you kindly e-mail me all the information about a CV and cover letter and please include templates? Thank you

  2. Mahlatse says:

    Thanks for your enlightenment, may you please email me more info about CV cover letter and proper CV template.

  3. Job Mailer says:

    @Thandeka and @Mahlatse. Please visit the below link to see various templates on how to write a good cover letter. Recent research shows that most hiring managers will read your cover letter before they look at your CV. It is therefore advisable to invest at least 3 hours in tailoring your cover letter for each position that you are applying for. Link: @Mahlatse in relation to your other question please use this link to download an example of a good CV Good luck with the job applications and if you have any more questions please do let us know.

  4. Molefe Thusi says:

    Is it possible to get the full information on a perfect cover page and a perfect CV. I have experience in retail and I want to expand and grow in what I’m doing. My email address is

  5. Rentia Human says:

    Thanks! I have found this information VERY useful!

  6. Nomonde says:

    I have sent my CV through to Jobmail. Thank you

  7. Job Mailer says:

    @Molefe, as you know the South African job market is very volatile at the moment. It is always a good idea to grow your portfolio but it is often difficult to break out from the field of work you that you currently find yourself in.
    Our advice to you: ensure that you apply for potential jobs that you know you have a passion for and even if you do not have the skills make sure you send a motivational letter that justifies why you would do your best to meet that employers expectations. I had a meeting with our Hiring Manager and she has just assisted me in having a better idea of what most managers are looking for when they analyse incoming CV’s.

    Here are some tips:
    – If you are applying for a sales job make sure you place your sales experience first
    – Your cover letter should have the following: your name, the position you are applying for, where you heard about the job, your years of experience in that field and a short two paragraph motivation letter that sells yourself
    – It is important that you have references on your CV so the Hiring Manager can call these past employers to ask about your work ethic, your attitude and how you assisted in improving their business operations
    – Also be aware that the modern Recruiter/ Hiring Manager do take the time to investigate your Facebook page. So it is a good idea to keep those drunken photographs and curse words to a minimum in the public domain.
    If you have any further questions please do let us know.

    @Rentia and Nomonde, The Job Mail Team is glad you found this post informative and we wish you well with your applications.

  8. ndiafhi says:

    Thank you for you information. I will gain a lot I think.

  9. Bongani says:

    I would like to know how should I write a cover letter for application of in-service training(internship). I ask you this because I do not have any work work experience since I haven’t work for any company yet. I would also like to know how should I write my curriculum vitae? Last but not least do I have to include interests and hobbies on my CV? If yes why?

  10. Caroline says:

    Thanks for the information I’ve really found it helpful. I’ve got a btech degree in operations mgt but only got experience in customer service and electricity meter reading. I’ve been thinking of studying something else to increase my opportunities of getting a job. Forgive me but I have to ask which course(s) is more marketable. Thanks in advance.

  11. Bongani says:

    Can you please email me a template of the cover letter? I do have work experience.


  12. lwazilomntu says:

    i matriculated 2004 bt ive got the experiencei sales reps or receptionist/administration clerk

  13. thami says:

    I graduated in 2007 I was doing food nd beverages managemenr I’ve never worked since or did I took a wrng course.for now I work as sales lady @ railway furnitures,can u please email me a template of the cover page

    • Job Mailer says:

      Hi Thami – Follow these guidelines, unfortunately we do not have a template on file. You should find a template quite easily online though. Google is your friend.

  14. Stevie Pombo says:

    Thanks so much for the great tips. I did find a new job.

  15. Lorraine Mahlango says:

    Thanks alot Jobmail for the information provided.I’ve got a Diploma in Business Administration specializing in Marketing,and i hope your infor will assist alot in job hunting.Realy appreciate,thanks again.

  16. enest says:

    I worked as a security guard for period of two years,but I don’t really enjoy working at law enforcement’s,so last year I’ve decided to try retail and I’ve enjoyed it but it was for festive season,now I’m seeking employment in the retail but I only have mobile number for my previous company,I would like to know if it’s fine to write only mobile number’s on my cv for reference.please help

  17. ernst says:

    Do u also help in funding people who want to start business.

  18. sne says:

    Hei how do i write my perfect cv cover

  19. Christopher says:

    Can you please kindly sendme a covering letter sample for hospital claims consultant. Thank you

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