How to introduce yourself in cover letters & on your CV

A cover letter and CV (Curriculum Vitae) are your opportunity to sell your skills and experience to a prospective employer. A poor introduction to these documents can consign your application to the waste paper bin whilst well-written letters and resumes can help you secure that dream job. Making a good impression from your first sentence is essential.

Get the salutation right on your letter. Find out the name of the person who will be hiring for the position and use their name rather the generic “Dear Sir or Madam.” This will show that you have taken the time to research the company. Use good quality stationery and type the letter out to show a professional approach.

Introduce yourself by stating which position you are applying for and where you came across the job advertisement. Tell the reader why you want to work for the company, using the organisation’s name as you do. Give some brief details about your skills and experience that are relevant to the position and refer to your CV where there will be more detail. A cover letter should be brief, introducing your qualities but encouraging the reader to read about you in greater detail in your CV.

Use your CV to introduce the keys skills and qualifications that make you the right person for the job. Demonstrate interpersonal skills if you will be working as part of a team. Give examples of successful team projects you have worked on and highlight your contribution. For management jobs, introduce your leadership skills. Describe how you have led teams to meet targets or dealt with staff issues.

Use positive language to introduce yourself. Include active verbs explaining what you have achieved and how you did it. You shouldn't over-exaggerate but make sure that the person reading your application understands everything that you can bring to the company.

Leave your letter for a day and then do a thorough check of spelling and grammar Ask a friend to proofread it for you and make sure there are no errors.

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About the Author

Paul Bayliss has been writing since 2003 with work appearing in publications such as "Verbatim," "Your Cat" and "Justice of the Peace." He has worked for central and local governments in the U.K. and his areas of writing expertise are travel, sport and social work. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Leeds University.