Covering Letters

A covering letter should be sent with all your applications. It will be the first thing the employer looks at, so spend time getting it right. It should:

  • State the job are applying for
  • Introduce yourself to the employer
  • State why you are a good candidate for the job
  • Be tailored for each job you apply for
  • Be short and to the point. No longer than one side of A4
  • Be in the same font and font size as your CV

Just as there are different approaches to writing your C.V., the covering letter does give you some scope to adapt your own style, but here are some suggestions.

 Writing a Covering Letter

Start with:

  • Your name, address, mobile and e-mail address
  • The date
  • The name of the recipient, their job title and address
  • If you don’t have a name, start the letter with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’

1st Paragraph

  • This should introduce the letter/C.V.
  • Indicating why you are writing
  • Which job you are applying for (with a reference if appropriate)
  • Where and when it was advertised.
  • Also introduce briefly who you are – where you studied, what qualifications you gained and the subject.


2nd Paragraph

  • This should outline why you wish to work for the employer
  • Demonstrate the knowledge you have gained about that organisation from any background research you have done
  • Address why you think you are suitable for the job and why it appeals to you.

3rd Paragraph

  • Focus on the qualifications, skills, achievements and experience you have which match the job description, starting with the job specific skills and then addressing some of the key transferable/personal skills required
  • Provide evidence of how you have gained the skills using the knowledge obtained from your education background and work experience

4th Paragraph

  • Be positive and polite – end the letter with something like, “thank you for considering my application, I look forward to hearing from you/meeting with you

Ending the letter:

  • ‘Yours sincerely’ if you are writing to a named person
  • ‘Yours faithfully’ if you started with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’
  • Add your signature – electronic or hand-written
  • Type you name below your signature



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