South African Cover Letter Writing Guide
Work in abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in South Africa needs more than just the obvious South African cover letter and South African CV writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will be forced to solve issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to go for South African jobs.
Do not take to lightly influence the Souuth African cover letter can have on the effect of your adventure! For example, you will experience the unusual immigration rules and practices, odd job application procedures, bizarre selection trends and unfamiliar to you management culture.
When applying for a job in South Africa, you may use either English or Afrikaans, depending on the company and your fluency. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing the host country language will put you at real disadvantage from the local job seekers.
The job application procedure in South Africa is more commercial than in most other countries.
Take the time to research every employer's organization and customize your South African cover letter to fit the position. Personalize each letter with a real person’s name. Such personalization would increase retention of your application.
Initially, it is acceptable to submit a “Brief Profile” in form of one page CV letter. This is a short summary of your full “Comprehensive CV” giving personal information, education and a chronological list of previous positions emphasizing your most recent or relevant position. Mention that a “Comprehensive CV” is available. It is customary to follow up your letter by phone.
Begin your CV letter with your name, nationality and contact information including your address, phone/fax and e-mail. Often cover letters and CVs are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with international access code and e-mail address are most important.
The South African cover letter is an integral part of your job application process. It should refer to your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future.
Often the South African cover letter is more relevant to employers then the accompanying CV because CVs refer mainly to the past time with exception of your present job and employers are interested mostly in the future of companies and organizations they represent.
The South African cover letter should be typed on one page in a short and professional style using power words and action verbs. Usually it contains three or four paragraphs. Be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible. Break any paragraph, which is longer than seven lines, into short easily understandable one. Write in a few lines how your experience and expertise can contribute to the company and to South Africa.
Close your cover letter, by expressing your willingness to explain your application in more detail during a personal interview and indicate that you will follow up in a few days
Under most circumstances, a cover letter is used as an introduction and should accompany your CV, whether e-mailed, posted on a job site, mailed or hand delivered to an employer.
Some large multinational companies use their own application forms instead of personal cover letters and CVs. Pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.
It is customary to follow up your job letter and CV by phone.
Do not include copies of diplomas with your job cover letter.
Check the spelling and grammar of your South African cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or Afrikaans language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your cover letter, send it to a professional for assistance.
If you have a difficulty with your South African cover letter writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:
Other South African Cover Letter Info
We hope that your South African job search has been successful. So, if your South African cover letter and South African CV are ready, you may email them to your future employers, apply for South African visa with South African work permit and start preparing for a South African job interview.
Good luck with your South Africa cover letter!