Cover/Motivational Letter writing tips and examples

Cover/Motivational letter writing tips, plus examples



Please note for the purpose of this blog I will refer to these as just ‘Cover letters’ but if someone asks for a motivational letter then consider it the same thing although motivational letters are typically more for unpaid or internships type roles.


What are cover letters?

These letters are a chance to give a bit of background on you and your industry related experience. Basically, a summary and motivation of why you would make a great employee and why the company should hire you!

Why do I need a cover letter?

Cover letters are needed to ‘sell yourself’ and give a recruiter/employer a quick background on you in brief, before they read your Cv.

How long should a cover letter be?

A cover letter that is too long may be over-looked as often employers and recruiters have so many Cvs to get through that they often don’t have much time to review them, so a paragraph or 2 is long enough and guarantees it will get read. It should never be more than a page long, but also not only one or 2 sentences!

Should a cover letter be separate to my Cv or included?

I personally would include the cover letter into your Cv as again, too many documents for recruiters/employers to read through may mean your application doesn’t get looked at thoroughly but if you do have it as a separate document this is acceptable.

Ideally have your short cover letter/paragraph at the top of your Cv under your name and photograph as this will grab the attention of the person reading it and be on the very first page they look at, its important to note a cover letter isn’t a summary on you so shouldn’t be at the bottom of your Cv.

If a particular position however requests a cover letter with the application, then always send this separately to the Cv and make sure you have marked it as a ‘Cover Letter’ on your attachment on the email.

Do I need to edit my cover letter for each position I apply for?

This isn’t really needed if you are applying within the same industry and for similar positions, for example if you are a Chef then you will be ‘selling’ your skills and experience related to this role, however you may want to edit it a little depending on the exact job or establishment you are applying too.

For example:

If you are applying for a position in a remote game lodge as a Chef you may want to add a brief sentence saying you have had experience with the logistics of cooking and stock management in a remote environment as this will be a benefit to this particular employer but it may not be relevant for a city based hotel.

Or if you are applying for a Chef supervisor role you may want to include information on your experience managing staff, admin abilities and your HR knowledge.

But if you have more information on the particular position you are applying for or the company you are applying to then you can make it a bit more specific.

An employer has specifically asked me to include a cover letter when applying for a position, why may this be?

This would be for 3 main reasons:

  1. So you can motivate to this particular company why you would be a great employee for the role
  2. So the employer can check your grammar, spelling and the way that you write as these skills are probably part of the position so they are using this as a ‘test’ to see how you perform
  3. If you do know the name of the company you are applying too (you will if you are applying directly to the employer) then they may also want to see if you have researched the company which shows enthusiasm not only for the position but for the company itself.


Here are a few powerful words you can make use of in your cover letter….



Examples of short cover letters to put at the top of your Cv…..


Here are 3 examples all for different positions, please keep in mind you wont be able to copy these examples as everyone has different qualifications, experience and reasons for wanting to work in the industry but hopefully these will help you to compile your own version all about you! Remember you are selling yourself!


Example 1 – Application for a Front of House role within a Luxury Lodge


My name is Candidate 1. I started my career in an admin-based role in a busy office, although I enjoy this side of things and am highly organised, I learnt very quickly that I also love interacting with people, so hospitality is definitely the industry for me. I have worked as a hostess in a restaurant previously and would love to work within the Luxury Lodge environment. I can communicate well and in a professional manner, and have no problem in interacting with people from different backgrounds and nationalities. My mixture of admin and hostess experience combined with my passion for people, nature and the industry makes me a perfect fit for your team.

Thank you for your consideration.

Example 2 – Application for a Junior Sous Chef role within a Luxury Lodge

My name is Candidate 2. I am a highly creative and passionate Chef who is looking to further my career within the Lodge industry. I am currently employed as a Chef de partie but am highly motivated to become a Sous Chef. When I am not cooking, I enjoy writing menus and I am always trying to better myself by learning from my superiors. I am happy to take on a more admin-based role and have recently received a computer certificate which should help me in this process, and I fully understand the duties that will be expected of me in a more senior role and look forward to the challenge and increasing my job knowledge.

I look forward to hearing from you and am hoping to get the chance to show you how valuable I can be to your company.


Example 3 – Application for a Junior Field Guide role within a small bush camp


My name is Candidate 3. I am very excited for the opportunity to apply for a Junior Guide role at your property. I recently passed my NQF 2 Field Guide course which is something I have wanted to achieve for a long time. I am highly passionate about the bush, wildlife and conservation. I have lots of energy and am happy to assist wherever is needed. I am hoping that with my formal qualification and my enthusiasm for the position I will be considered and can start my career as a field guide and Im sure I will advance in my guiding career quickly.

Thank you for your time.


I hope this blog has helped you when you are next writing to an employer or a recruiter, it is important to note this is just a guideline and its a good idea to do what feels right for you as you may want to give more detail about yourself and your experience or have a slightly different format for your letter or paragraph.

This information also isn’t only for the Hospitality industry, all industries would expect similar information to be included in applications.

Best of luck in your applications!