A cover letter serves a different purpose to a
CV. While your CV showcases your skills, experience, expertise and
qualifications, your cover letter should focus on the specific job you’re applying for. It needs to explain why you’re applying for that job, at that organisation, and why you’re the right fit for the role.
How should I write a cover letter?
A cover letter is just like any other business letter, in that it needs to be laid out in a formal style and written in professional language. Here, the elements of a great cover letter are broken down so that you can create a positive first impression.
What heading should I use for a cover letter?
You’ll need a header that includes your name and contact details (pro tip: copy the header from your CV to create a cohesive first impression). You also need to add the details of the company you’re writing to and the date.
Who should I address a cover letter to?
Ideally, you need to address it to the person who will be assessing your application. If their name isn’t on the
advert, try hunting them down on LinkedIn or making a quick call to the company. As a very last resort, you can address it as “Dear Sir / Madam” if you really have exhausted all lines of enquiry – just don’t address it to a general department or job title!
How should I start a cover letter?
Firstly, state the job you’re applying for and the reference number, if one is given. Explain where you saw the advert, too – it helps the recruiter to see which adverts are working for them. Then, convey your enthusiasm for the role and state your main selling point in relation to the job advertised.
What do I include in a cover letter?
Over the next couple of paragraphs, briefly explain how you align with the person specification in the advert, with concrete examples from your career. Explain clearly how you can meet their needs. Don’t forget to include a sentence or two explaining exactly why you want to work for them.
How should I sign off a cover letter?
In the final paragraph, include a call to action – suggest they phone or email you – and be positive about the next stage of the recruitment process. Then you can simply add “Yours faithfully” if it’s addressed “Dear Sir / Madam” or “Yours sincerely” if you’ve managed to address it to a named person, before signing it. And you’re done!