When applying for a job you want to make a great impact, with a stand out CV. But before employers even read your CV, they will generally be greeted with a covering letter. They are going to be reading your covering letter before your CV, so it’s important to keep them interested from the first page. In order to make a good first impression, your covering letter needs to be well structured, grammatically correct and support your CV.
Use some of these key tips when writing your own covering letter:

  • Introduce yourself and inform the employer which vacancy you are applying for
    Begin with a clear indication of the job you’re applying for and where you heard about it. If you have the name of a direct contact or referral, this is the place to mention it.
  • Highlight your relevant skills and how they can be used in this role
    Next, outline key aspects of the job and make direct comparisons with skills and experience you have.
  • Mention any additional skills over and above the job advert
    Add any supporting information you feel is necessary, such as applied aspects of the role or what additional skills you can bring over and above the job specification.
  • Personalise each letter
    Try to find out the name of the person responsible for recruiting the role and some key company information can also show that you’ve done your research.
  • Keep it clear and concise
    One A4 page will be enough for a covering letter. Don’t rewrite your CV, just include key statements that will impress a prospective employer.
  • Spell Check
    Ensure your letter is free of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors!
  • Contact Details
    Where ever possible send your letter and CV to a named individual, rather than using sir/madam. Research using websites or contact their HR department and get yourself a name of who to address your letter to.

For more advice on creating your covering letter visit these useful sites:

Prospects – How to write a cover letter 

Reed – How to write a cover letter

Milkround – How to write a graduate cover letter