How to write a winning cover letter for your CV

Posted on February 25, 2021 by Staff Writer

Rateweb | South Africa



20 May 2020

Mr David Woodcock
Human Resource Manager
123 Company

Rivonia Road,


Dear Mr. Woodcock

I’m writing to apply for the position of Accountant as advertised on www.123company.co.za. I believe that my set skills, experience and competence meet those that 123 Company is looking for. In my mind I have no doubt whatsoever that I will help 123 company meet its goals and targets. 123 company’s 25 years of award winning service delivery is mesmerising for a young accountant like myself.

A reliable accountant who is able to meet deadline at all time. I am self-motivated and self-driven which is why I’m highly efficient in every task that I commit myself to. My passion as an accountant goes a long way and I’m planning to enrol for an honours degree in financial accounting. I currently hold a bachelor’s degree in Financial Accounting from the University of Cape Town.

With over 5 years in the field of accounting, I have learnt so much in the field and surely your company will benefit from my experiences. 123 company will have an accountant that is a team player, ready to take orders, and putting the company needs first. All SARS filling for your clients such as VAT, EMP201, EMP501,IRP5 and IRP6 will always be up to date. Furthermore, clients’ Management accounts, budget and cashflows will be regularly maintained.

From my previous employment, I have gained software competency, where I was using 3 accounting software to record client transactions. The three software that I used was Sage pastel evolution, Xero and QuickBooks and I’m competent in all. I have also gained specialist understanding on how to analyse financial information, salary structuring and tax planning.

I would like an opportunity to discuss the accounting job available at 123 company. For any questions or further information, you can call me on 071 234 5678 or email me at [email protected]

Kgaogelo Matabane

Sample cover letter END

Today when applying for a job it is mandatory to submit your Curriculum Vitae along with a cover letter. Writing a cover letter is important, it is the most crucial piece of your CV and must be correctly written. Many don’t know what to write on a cover letter and flood it words that are not necessary and even overselling themselves.

You may be wondering why you are not called for an interview after submitting so many CVs. The answer is you are simply not writing your CV and cover letter correctly. You need to master the art of writing a cover letter otherwise you will remain part of the Unemployment statistics.

Remember that thousands of equally if not more qualified candidates than you, are applying for the same job. Being sloppy on your cover letter will put you at the end of the food chain. However, this can be avoided by creating a cover letter that resonates with the job that you are applying for.

This article will assist you to write an eye-catching cover letter for your job search. We have decoded the art of writing a cover letter taking advice from career experts. Pay attention to detail and get your cover letter right.

What you need to do before writing a cover letter

1. Research

Your curriculum vitae is customised to your career, therefore, your cover letter must be customized for a position. You need to put some time to understand and research the company that you apply to.

The position that you are applying for should be thoroughly researched because your cover letter depends on it to be great.

If you are going to apply for a job at Shoprite as a store manager then you need to do some research on the position. The research must be based on the specific position at Shoprite that you want to apply for.

Truth is very few people research on the company that they want to apply to. Sad thing is that showing that you have not done your homework about the company means you don’t understand its needs and values.

If you demonstrate that you understand the company needs and values, your efforts will go a long way in the application process.

2. Must understand your purpose

The first thing you need to know is what a cover letter is and what ii its use, before attempting to write one. This will help you to avoid writing gibberish that holds no value to your cover letter.

What is a cover letter for? A cover letter is there to provide an engaging personal introduction.

It helps connect your unique qualifications to specific qualifications for the position you are applying for. By doing this your aim is to arouse the employer’s curiosity to read your Curriculum Vitae.

With the explanation of why you are writing a cover letter given, it shouldn’t be difficult to write one.

When thinking of it just ask yourself ‘why should you be hired? ‘. By giving an answer to this question, you will unlock the purpose of your cover letter.

What to do during the writing process

3. Show initiative and be specific

The first thing to do when writing a cover letter is to address the company formally and outright.

Since you have done your research you need to apply your finding and write them on your cover letter. Your cover letter should be directed to a specific person.

This shows the seriousness and a keen interest in getting the job. Should you not know the name of the person you will be writing to try using the internet to search for the hiring manager or call the company to ask.

The point of the cover letter is to persuade the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.

You need to specify that you are asking for an interview, this puts your priorities clear. When asking for an interview you must include your detailed contact information.

4. Make use of keywords

Since you have conducted your research and know exactly what the company wants from their candidates, you must then include these on your cover letter. Don’t copy and paste! Use keywords that are listed on the job advert to describe your skills.

Also, include industry jargon in describing your skills and experiences. This way you will come out as someone who is very passionate and knowledgeable about the industry and position you are applying for.

Note that all green keywords are added on the cover letter. From your research, you can use some of the keywords provided on the job description and key roles and include them in your cover letter.

The keywords that you add on your cover letter must be a true reflection of what you can do.

5. You must address the company’s values

You don’t want to come out as that person whom they will have to first teach the company culture after being employed.

Companies don’t want to spend extra hours teaching you how to behave or conduct yourself. You need to be on top of the game and many companies expect you to be.

In your cover letter, you need to specify that you are a good fit for the company’s corporate culture and can help meet its goals.

Corporate culture plays a big role in recruitments and it is something that you need to adhere to when making a research.

Make sure you write why and how you would add value in the organisation.

From example, a Job application as a Shoprite manager, you can add this on your cover letter ‘… Shoprite’s great leadership program and opportunity for growth attracted me to apply for this position’.

6. Cancel out generics and be original

Be original throughout on your cover letter. Don’t write any idle sentences. You must also avoid cliché at all cost.

Your writing represents you so being shallow in your writing will do you more bad than good.

You need to choose your words carefully and understand that recruiters are judging you for your writing as well.

If you scribble through it will show that you don’t pay attention to detail.

7. Don’t oversell yourself

You will find a cover letter with 2 plus pages detailing all the experiences that one has.

The experience part is always where one says so much and it’s boring to read. You don’t have to be cocky about your experiences.

Just show how the company will benefit from your experiences. Let go of the word “I” when explaining how the company will benefit from your past experiences and explain using the company instead.

This will show that you are the best candidate who will solve the company’s problems without explicitly saying so.


Invest a great deal of time in writing and perfecting your cover letter. During your job hunt invest also in improving not only your cover letter but also your skills to stand out in your applications.

When all this is done, all you need to be doing now is await for your call for the interview which you will need to also prepare for.

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