Tips on compiling a CV Cover Letter

Apart from having a winning CV – a bigger part to gaining the attention of potential employer is to have an equally high standard cover letter!

Remember, like yourself who has applied to a company for a job, so too has possibly hundreds of other individuals, especially if you are applying to an established corporate company!

You need to view your CV as being that “first selling point” of your skills to your reader. Your CV and cover letter has to be packaged in a way to “hook” the reader so that they can elevate your CV from the piles and piles of other CV’s into “the other pile” that is called – “the potential interview list pile!”

Viewed in this context, your cover letter and CV has to be clearly written; with good English and structure and contain the relevant information to intrigue the reader to want to meet with you in person.

Below is an example of a CV cover letter with notes to assist you to compile your own.

All the best with your interview process!


12th Street, Sunninghill,

Johannesburg, 4001


30 July 2011

To: The Training Officer Or Mr. / Ms E. Fouche


PO Box 4890




Tel: 011-267 8000

Dear Sir / Madam or Dear Mr. or Ms Fouche

RE: Application for CA Training contract commencing 01 January 2012, [Include Advert Reference if you have one]

With regard to the above position, please find attached my detailed curriculum vitae for your consideration.

Should you require any further details, I may be contacted on the following:

Tel: 011 – 873 6746 or

Cel: 072 567 8531 or


I thank you for considering my application.

Yours faithfully




John Smith

B-Com Hons Student: NMMU


Notes on cover letter:

  1. Your physical or postal address appears in the middle of the page over two lines.
  2. Address your letter ideally to a person that you know will be screening all the applications:
    • Use Mr. – if you know the person reviewing your CV is a gentleman
    • Use Mrs. – if you know the person is a married lady
    • Use Ms. – If you know the person is a lady but you are unsure if she is married or not.
    • Get the spelling of the name and surname correct!! It is no use addressing a personal letter and spelling their name incorrectly
  3. Address your letter to a position if you are unable to find out the persons name that will be screening all the applications.: Example
    • To: The Training Officer or
    • To: The Audit Partner or
    • To: The CA Training Programme Manager or
    • To: The Human Resources Manager
  4. Next, type the Company to whom you are applying and their company postal address. If you are unable to obtain the postal address – substitute with a physical address.
  5. Include the telephone number of the company to whom you are applying.
  6. Salutation:
    • Use Dear Sir / Madam if you addressed the letter to a position (point 3 above)
    • Use Dear Mr or Ms or Mrs Smit if you addressed the letter to a person (point 2 above)
  7. Subject line:
    • Apply to a specific position.
    • The more detailed you are the better.
    • If you are responding to an advert in a paper or website: include a reference number
  8. Your contact details – try to include at least alternative numbers.
  9. Use simple font like arial, size 11 for your cover letter.
  10. Always send a cover letter that has been updated with the current date and one that has your signature.