Employers will often ask candidates to send a covering letter in addition to their CV but it’s surprising how many people fail to do so. It may not seem like an important weapon in your job-hunting arsenal, ‘surely my CV speaks for itself’ you might think, but a cover letter gives you an opportunity to show both your individuality and initiative.
First and foremost, if an employer requests something then you’d be setting off on the wrong foot if you fail to provide it. An HR manager’s inbox is bulging with applications and it’s only natural for them to not give priority to those candidates that have provided what’s been requested.
Secondly, a covering letter gives you a chance to show a side of you that your CV might not be able to convey. Don’t write your autobiography, the employer is unlikely to want your life story, but do make it clear why this particular job appeals to you, and more importantly, why you would be the person they are looking for. Make the letter specific to the vacancy and it will show the employer that you have a genuine interest and that you’re not the sort of person who applies for every job they see.