They are extremely important, but too many people think they are unimportant.
Many employers will not even look at your CV unless your covering letter is interesting or impressive.
Our advice is that your covering letters should:
We think that a good covering letter might look something like this:
[your name and address]
[name of a specific person in the firm and the firms' address]
Dear Mr. Tong
I wish to apply for a job as an entry-level paralegal. My goal is to become a professional paralegal specialising in the criminal law. I am writing to you because your firm has an excellent reputation for doing high quality criminal law work.
Although I am applying for an entry-level position, I hope I already possess quite a few of the skills and knowledge that a junior paralegal at the start of his/her career would require. I have three months practice experience doing civil litigation paralegal work with GHI. solicitors in Shatin. I have passed an intensely practical course run by Hong Kong University on criminal law practice and procedure, and am already an Affiliate (HK) member of the Institute of Paralegals.
In my current and previous work I have picked up a number of skills and abilities which should be transferable to paralegal criminal law work, in particular my experience of having to interview reluctant or hostile witnesses! I attach a set of the Introductory Level Competency Standards for Paralegals issued by the Institute. I have marked those required competences which I already comply with.
I am a native Cantonese speaker, but am also fluent in spoken and written Putonghua and confident in my use of spoken and written English.
If at all possible I would like to meet with you or speak with you by telephone when you have a moment to see if there is any opportunity to work for your esteemed firm.
Thank you for your time.