Excerpted from the Italy Career Guide
Cover Letter Guidelines and Samples
The majority of recruitment agencies and headhunters in Italy allow candidates to apply online. In most cases, it is possible to post the résumé/CV only, while a brief description of your skills and expertise (a substitution for the cover letter) should be inserted in the ‘comments’ section. Often you are asked to send the résumé/CV via email, so the cover letter needs to be sent in the body of the email. It is important to address the letter to a specific person (e.g., the HR director in the case of a small or medium-sized organization, or the recruitment and selection manager in the case of a large company) and to use the proper title of the person being addressed.
Résumé / CV Guidelines and Sample
As in most countries, personal contacts and networking are critical to a job search. Italians would prefer to hire a person who has been introduced by someone they already know and trust. Thus, it is essential for a successful job hunting strategy to build up a good network and find well-connected contacts who can establish the right introductions. It is, in fact, quite common in Italy to get the first informational interview through an acquaintance.
While the ideal résumé/CV does not exist for every occasion, in general it is not necessary to write a new résumé/CV for each job. Applying for different jobs becomes a matter of tailoring the résumé/CV to the individual job. When revising a résumé/CV, highlight the information and personal characteristics pertinent to the specific job. In addition, delete those pieces of information that are not relevant.
You'll find more advice and cover letter and resume samples in the complete Italy Guide.