covering letter

a letter that accompanies another letter, a package, or the like, to explain, commend, etc.
Also, cover letter.

1885–90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
covering letter
an accompanying letter sent as an explanation, introduction, or record

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
How well you write a cover letter and resume may determine whether or not you
  secure an interview or get the job.
How you write your cover letter is as important as the message it delivers.
Tourists must submit a confirmation from a travel agency or hotel and a cover
In your cover letter, you should emphasize the parts of your work experience
  that are relevant to the position.
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