Many of you will despair at the idea of writing a covering letter, especially after having written hundreds of them throughout your audit career. Although they may feel like the bane of your life, they are in fact the key to getting your CV read. Grabbing the reader’s attention with your covering letter for internal and external audit jobs is vital as it will show the reader your understanding of the organisation and what skills you possess.
There are a number of overall key factors that an audit covering letter should do. Within it you need to address two main factors; why you are right for the job and what you will bring to the company. It is also an opportunity to address any anomalies on your CV such as time gaps.
When you write your covering letter you need to remember that there are a number of Do’s and Don’ts to consider before sending it off.
- Make sure you triple check everything is correct. The last thing you want to do is send your covering letter and CV and then suddenly realise you forgot to add something or that you put the comma in the wrong place.
- Phone the company to find out the name of the person who will be dealing with your application for the post. Make sure you spell their name correctly and use the correct job title, this will ensure it gets to the right person. It also give you a contact name for a follow-up call or email.
- Show your research of the job and the company. Your cover letter is your first chance to show off your knowledge; your interview is the second.
- If you are applying for a job that isn’t directly linked to your current job, then draw links between the skills you currently have and the skills that are required for the new job.
- Always keep it professional, make sure the layout, the format, tone are all kept formal, even if you are sending it as an email as opposed to an attachment.
- Keep it short; it should be no longer than one page.
- Think about it from the perspective of the employer. They will want to see how you can benefit them, rather than why they should want you.
- Finally, spell check it again. It can’t be stressed enough how important this is, especially in audit where it is essential that you have an eye for detail.
- Your covering letter should not be your CV regurgitated; the employer wants to be enticed to read your CV.
- Make sure your covering letter is unique to each job. You should not have a standard covering letter that is sent out with all your job applications.
- There is no need to mention salary at this point. Salaries can be spoken about once you have been offered the job.
- If the job advert mentions instructions for you to follow such as adding a reference code, then don’t ignore them.
- Don’t address someone by their first name unless invited to. You should always remember to address them formally.
- This is your chance to shine, so don’t be negative.
What to include in your audit covering letter:
Introduction: This may seem obvious but it is important to mention why you are writing to them, for example you should say where and when you found the job posted. This is also the right time to quote a reference number if there is one.
Experience and skills: After looking at the job advert and thinking that this is the right job for you, you will immediately have some of your skills in mind that made you think you were right for the job. Here is your chance to draw attention to them. The employer or recruiter will be looking at hundreds, maybe even thousands of covering letters and CV’s; they don’t want to have to pick out your relevant skills from your CV. Make it as easy as possible for them.
You should briefly explain your current job and if applicable, your professional/academic qualifications. Here you can also say what you have learnt and how it could benefit the company, remember you are selling yourself so you should also mention your personal qualities that fit the requirements of the job. You should make sure that everything links back to the role itself. Remember to talk about anomalies, hurdles and how you problem solved.
Why that company: Another point to add into the mid-section of your covering letter is why you want to work there. Don’t just say you are right for the job because you have the relevant skill, but rather demonstrate your research of the company here, show your enthusiasm by showing your research of their successes, involvements, values or clients.
Signing off: For your covering letter, the overall feeling of the signing off needs to be positive. You should mention that this is a great opportunity for you; here you can present an action plan. Say that you look forward to meeting them in the interview. You can even put the ball in your court and say that you will call them in a couple of days. However, make sure you don’t pester them.