Writing a cover letter

HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER

What is a cover letter?

Your cover letter is an introduction to your CV and a chance to capture the attention of your reader. It should aim to demonstrate the qualities that set you apart from other applicants.

1. Have you demonstrated your skills?

Each job application should be tailored when you’re applying to show you are the right person for this job. Underline the keywords used to describe the skills, training and experience required in the job description. Search through your own career history for specific examples of how you can demonstrate you have what the employer is looking for.

Your cover letter should complement your CV by highlighting the most relevant aspects relating to the position. We suggest making a draft, then when you are satisfied that it reads well ask a friend to review it.

2. Have a clear subject line:

  • Address it to a person; never just 'Dear Sir or Madam'
  • Always quote the job title, the reference number and your name

3. Keep it on one page

Be clear, focused on the point of the cover letter or email. List your skills and experience with examples of why you are the right person for the company.

4. What to include

  • You’ve tailored it to every specific application
  • It’s on one page
  • It's addressed to a specific individual
  • It creates an action plan for specific future contact
  • Give it to a friend or someone in your network to review

While some job roles require a cover letter, most will only need your CV. If you need any guidance on this (or any aspect of your job search) then find your nearest office and get in touch with an expert consultant.

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