How to write a winning cover letter for your CV in South Africa 2023

cover letter

7 things you need to do before writing a cover letter in South Africa

1. Research

In the same way that your resume is targeted to a specific profession, your cover letter should be as well. Make an effort to learn as much as possible about the organization to which you’re applying.

Because the success of your cover letter is based on it, you should thoroughly research the position for which you are applying.

Getting a job as a store manager at Shoprite necessitates research on your part. To be considered for a position at Shoprite, you must submit a study tailored to that company.

Only a small percentage of applicants actually research the company to which they are applying. A lack of research about the organization shows that you are unaware of its requirements and ideals, which is unfortunate.

If you can show that you understand the company’s needs and ideals, your efforts will go a long way in the application process.

2. Must understand your purpose

Before you attempt to create a cover letter, you must first understand what it is and what it is used for. This will assist you to avoid writing meaningless gibberish in your cover letter.

What is the purpose of a cover letter? The purpose of a cover letter is to create a compelling personal introduction.

It allows you to link your unique qualifications to the requirements for the position you’re looking for. Your goal is to pique the employer’s interest in reading your curriculum vitae by doing so.

It shouldn’t be tough to compose a cover letter once you’ve explained why you’re writing one.

Simply ask yourself, “Why should I hire you?” when you’re thinking about it. You will discover the goal of your cover letter by answering this question.

3. Show initiative and be specific

When creating a cover letter, the first thing to do is to address the company directly and formally.

After you’ve completed your study, you’ll need to put your findings into practice and include them in your cover letter. You should address your cover letter to a specific person.

This demonstrates earnestness and a strong desire to get the job. If you don’t know the name of the person to whom you’ll be writing, try searching for the hiring manager on the internet or calling the organization to inquire.

The purpose of the cover letter is to persuade the company that you are the most qualified candidate for the position.

You must state that you are requesting an interview; this clarifies your priorities. You must give your complete contact information when requesting an interview.

4. Make use of keywords

Your research has shown you what the employer is looking for in a candidate, so incorporate that information in your cover letter. Copying and pasting is not an option! To define your abilities, use keywords from the job description.

When explaining your abilities and experiences, use industry lingo as well. As a result, you’ll come across as someone who’s genuinely interested in and informed about the field in which you’re applying.

5. You must address the company’s values

You don’t want to be known as the employee who needs to be trained on the company’s culture from the ground up.

Employers don’t want to devote more time to training you in appropriate behaviour and professional behaviour. Many employers expect you to be on top of your game.

You must state in your cover letter that you are a good fit for the corporate culture of the organization and can contribute to the achievement of its objectives.

When it comes to hiring, corporate culture matters a lot, so pay attention to it when doing your research.

Don’t forget to include in your application why and how you will benefit the company.

The fantastic leadership program and opportunities for growth at Shoprite inspired me to apply to this position, as an example from a job application as a Shoprite manager.

6. Cancel out generics and be original

Keep your cover letter as unique as possible throughout. Write only meaningful sentences. A cliché must be avoided at all costs.

Because your writing is a reflection of who you are, being mediocre will do more harm than good.

Recruiters are looking at your writing as well as your verbal communication skills when deciding whether or not to offer you a position.

By doing this, you’re demonstrating a lack of focus and attention to the finer points of the project.

7. Don’t oversell yourself

Cover letters can be as long as two pages, outlining all of the candidate’s previous work and volunteer experience.

There is always a lot to say about one’s experience, and it becomes tedious to read. Be humble about your accomplishments, not arrogant.

Rather, demonstrate how your skills and experiences will benefit the firm as a whole. Use the company instead of the word “I” when describing how your past experiences will assist the organization.

In other words, it will demonstrate that you are the most qualified person to solve the company’s challenges without having to say it openly.


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 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 deadlines at all times. 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 experience. 123 company will have an accountant that is a team player, ready to take orders, and put the company’s 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, budgets and cashflows will be regularly maintained.

From my previous employment, I have gained software competency, where I used 3 accounting software to record client transactions. The three software that I used were Sage pastel evolution, Xero and QuickBooks and I’m competent in all. I have also gained a specialist understanding of 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

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 with 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 qualified candidates, if not more qualified, than you are applying for the same job. Being sloppy in 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 by taking advice from career experts. Pay attention to detail and get your cover letter right.


Spend a significant amount of time crafting the right cover letter. When you’re looking for a job, don’t only focus on your resume or cover letter; additionally, work on honing your soft skills to make yourself stand out.

Then all you have to do is sit back and wait for the interview call, for which you must prepare as well.

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