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There are two types of supporting letters when sending your CV or application form to an employer. These are covering and speculative letters.
A covering letter is designed to capture the reader’s attention and draw their eye to the most relevant aspects of your experience which fits the job. When this happens they will then be more interested in your application form or CV.
A speculative (spec) letter is used when you are writing to an employer to enquire if there are any available vacancies that may have not been advertised as yet. The letter itself would be very similar to a covering letter, though the opening paragraph is normally worded differently.
Your letter should include:
- The reason for writing to the employer – On most occasions this is a response to a job advertisement and should state what you are applying for and where you saw the position advertised.
- What you are offering the employer – Point out any relevant skills or experience you have which fits the job vacancy itself. If the advert requires customer service skills then indicate any job you have done that fits this requirement.
- Why you would want to do this type of work and why you are the right person for the job – State your best qualities and why they should pick you over other applicants. It may possibly be that you have been specially trained in this type of work and your skills or experiences are currently up-to-date.
- When you are available for an interview – Using a short phrase along the lines of ‘available for interview at short notice’ is a useful idea.
- Thank the reader for their time – Thank the reader for taking the time to read your application. You may also write something like ‘I look forward to hearing from you’.
Complimentary close – Sign off your letter using the following format (this also depends upon how you started the letter):
Yours sincerely (if you know the recipient’s name)
Yours faithfully (if you do not know the recipient’s name)
Your signature should be handwritten above a typed signature