How to write great covering letters for aviation jobs

Published: 16 Feb 2015 By Suzie Larcombe

No matter whether you’re applying for a job as a pilot or cabin crew, the letter you send with your CV is likely to be the first thing your prospective employer will see.  Irrespective of how much you’ve invested in your CV, if you skimp on this important part of your recruitment communication you could seriously reduce your chances of bagging the airline job of your dreams. 

In this blog post, we’ll share with you 10 Top Tips to help you write a killer covering letter and get yourself ahead of the crowd.

Here are those tips:

  1. It’s all in the planning. Planning your covering letter should be done with near-military precision; anything else and you’ll probably end up selling yourself short.  When you plan your letter, identify the 3 key reasons why you’re the best person for the job and make sure you present those clearly in your first paragraph.

  2. Show your style. Make sure your letter is professional, but at the same time shows your personality. 

  3. Make sure your touch points are crystal clear. There’s no point in investing your time and energy in a winning covering letter if your potential employer needs to search high and low for how to contact you.  Provide as an absolute minimum a mobile phone number and an email address.  It’s also probably a good idea to provide a postal address, just incase they want to send you a good old-fashioned letter.

  4. Concentrate on the first paragraph and the close. Employers occasionally receive hundreds of letters and CVs for their vacancies, so the chance of them taking the time to diligently read all of them is pretty slim.  Typically, busy people will scan the top and the tail of a letter and will make a judgement based on those.  This is why you need to invest heavily in your opening paragraph and your closing line.  Your opening paragraph should clearly state the 3 major reasons (your unique selling points or USPs) why you are one of their most interesting candidates.  Your close should be confident and optimistic.

  5. Focus on facts. When you’ve stated your 3 USPs take the time to give evidence or facts that back up those claims.  This will make your whole proposition more credible and convincing.

  6. Keep it compact. Your letter should be 1 page long and no longer.

  7. Sign it. Even if you’re sending your letter by email, take the time to scan your signature and add it to the letter.  A blue signature stands out on an emailed letter and adds a nice finishing touch.

  8. Demonstrate that you’ve done your homework. Your covering letter is the perfect place to show that you understand WHY the employer is recruiting and address the benefits of employing you to solve that pain or problem. 

  9. Make sure it’s error free. It sounds really obvious but your covering letter is no place for grammatical or spelling errors.  Take time to check, check and double-check what you’ve written and if needs be pay someone to correct it.

  10. Check the look, feel and even the smell of your letter! If you’re printing your covering letter, choose a nice weight of paper and maybe even an off-white or pastel colour to make it stand out (but don’t go wild!).  The feel of a quality paper suggests a quality candidate and could make the difference between securing an interview and not.   It may sound odd, but before you post your letter, make sure it has no odours apart from the smell of paper.  Cooking smells and dampness can cling to paper and don’t have any place in a top-notch covering letter J.

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