Cover Letters

Why Do I Need a Covering Letter?

When you send a CV or application form to an employer you should always send a covering letter with it (unless specifically asked not to do so). The content of the covering letter is as important as the content of your CV or application form. Employers tend to read covering letters first, so your letter should give a favourable impression of your suitability for the job.

Format of a Covering Letter

The covering letter should be word processed and no more than one side of A4 in length. Broadly speaking the covering letter should follow this basic format:


Your Contact Address
Date

Name
Position
Department
Company
Address

Dear (title - Mr/Ms etc) and Surname

Ref: Job Title with Reference Number (if given)

PARAGRAPH 1
State why you are writing (e.g. for a job that has been advertised or speculatively to see if the company has any specific opportunities) and what you are doing at the moment (e.g. course, institution, when you will graduate).

PARAGRAPH 2
Say why you are interested in that company in particular and that specific vacancy.

PARAGRAPH 3
Say why you are motivated to pursue a career in the particular field you are applying to.

PARAGRAPH 4
Match your most relevant skills/knowledge to the job and give examples of any relevant experience. You can refer to those sections of your CV/Application Form which particularly support your application.

PARAGRAPH 5
End on a positive note and state when you will be available for interview.

Yours sincerely (if letter addressed to named person)
Yours faithfully (if letter addressed Dear Sir/Madam)

Signature
(but also print or word process your name underneath for legibility).