Cover Letter


While your CV sets out the skills you have for the post we would advise including a covering letter which should:-

  • demonstrate to the employer your interest in and knowledge of the company;

  • highlight particular parts of your CV that are your unique selling points;

  • explain any personal circumstances or anomalies in your application.

Well-written covering letters are also particularly effective for speculative applications outside a recruitment cycle.

Setting out your covering letter
  • Address your letter to a named individual. If you are not sure who the best person to contact is, telephone the company and ask.

  • Keep your letter to one side of A4.

  • Use a formal business template, showing both your address and the name and address of the recipient.

  • Use 'Yours sincerely' to sign off. Only use 'Yours faithfully' if you have addressed the letter 'Dear Sir/Madam'.

Paragraph one: introduction
  • Why are you writing? 'I am writing in response to your job advertisement in the Daily News for the position of trainee marketing assistant'.

  • Who are you? 'I will be made redundant in June, and am very keen to establish a career with your company'.

Paragraph two: why you want the job
  • What attracts you to this particular company? Demonstrate that you've researched their activities.

  • Why do you want to work in this sector? You could refer to relevant experience or study. Does the job make use of your strengths? Is it particularly varied or challenging?

Paragraph three: why the company should be interested in you
  • Pick out three or four of the qualities the employer is asking for. What evidence can you give of these?

  • Mention relevant experience or study.

Final paragraph: conclusion
  • Cover any practical issues. You could refer to when you are available for interview.

  • Be positive. Thank the company for considering your application and say you look forward to hearing from them.


It is vital you proofread your covering letter carefully and present it well.

If you are sending your covering letter as an email, a formal style is still important, although you can leave out the addresses at the top of the page.