How to write a covering e-mail

You've managed to find a job via one of the recruitment agencies listed on Agency Central - now it's time to apply. It's not as simple as attaching your CV and filling in some brief details; often you have to write a 'covering letter' or 'covering email'. Don't be panicked by this it's not as hard as you may think.
Go through your CV first and remember what skills you have and review the 'job spec'. In the simplest of terms the idea is to match what they want with what you have. 
The covering email should contain some core elements:
  • Detail your reason for the email, i.e. to deliver a CV as part of your job application;
  • Give the exact details of the job you're applying for i.e. the company name, position and any reference number;
  • Highlight which skills you have that would be relevant for the position;
  • Make sure you finish the letter on a positive note. Perhaps try something like 'I believe that I have all the skills and experience necessary to make a success of the position. I hope to hear from you soon.'
Because email is a more instantaneous and friendly form of communication, you should leave out your address details, go straight into 'Dear XYZ'.

General tips

  • Use the journalists 'rule of thumb' and try and keep sentences fewer than 35 words long;
  • Try and get someone else to read over your email before you send it;
  • Save all job application emails and applications (if you can) as they could be useful to refer to if you need to answer any questions;
  • Don't be too formal;
  • Don't excessively repeat anything;
  • Keep your email short and sweet.