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How to write a good cover letter

Posted on 18/06/2020 by Jo Hodge

Diary cover letter note

When you are applying for jobs, it is best practice to send a cover letter along with your CV to introduce yourself. Ensure the cover letter is written specifically for the job you are applying for and tailored to that role.

Your covering letter is a key part of your application to a prospective employer. Craft a strong covering letter and your application could really stand out from the crowd. The purpose of a cover letter is to quickly convince the reader that you are just the applicant they are looking for.

The rules to sending a cover letter:

Don't rewrite your CV
It should provide edited, highlights from your CV. But it should not merely repeat what the CV includes but rather details the key themes into one place.

First Paragraph and last line
Make the reason you're writing clear and sell yourself in your first paragraph and detail what makes you the better candidate. Leave them with a good, positive final thought about you.

Talk about the company
Do some research into the company/ organisation and include information about them. Specifically, tell them what you are impressed with and what attracts you to them.

Provide evidence of your qualities
Pick out the top 3 qualities the employer is seeking in their advert or job specification. These should be qualities that you have already covered in your CV. They should be the 3 things that you refer to briefly in your covering letter. Provide concrete examples and solid numbers wherever you can.

You can view further information on what to include in your supporting evidence on our guide to writing a supporting statement.

Reflect your personality
Ensure the letter shows how motivated and enthusiastic you are. Do not include negative comments. Try to use dynamic acting verbs for each skill you are explaining.

Relevant and brief
A well-written letter should draw the recruiter's eye to relevant experience on your CV.

Proof
Don’t forget to proof your cover letter for any spelling and grammatical errors.

Include your contact details
Don’t forget to include your contact details, to make it as easy as possible for the employer or recruiter to get in touch.
 

Read further advice on CVs & applications here.