A cover letter should always accompany your CV and allows you to personalise a job application, highlighting your strengths and relevant experiences to that particular job.

A cover letter introduces you as a person to your employer, and should emphasise your interest in the position whilst closely mirroring the employer’s interests and emphasising relevant information in your CV. A cover letter should be no more than one page.

Personal statements can be used as an alternative to a cover letter and are more reflective of your personal career story and motivations.

Read more about the difference between the two here.

If sent as a separate document, write it in standard business style, with the recipient’s address followed by the sender’s address and contact details and the date sent. Address the document directly to the person in charge of recruitment, find out their name if possible!

State the position you are applying for, and try to use it to pique the employer’s interest in your application.

This should be made up of no more than 3 paragraphs. Concentrate on a few points from your CV, and expand on them. Provide real examples of your skills developed from your education or previous employment that directly meet the job requirements.

Ensure the language used shows your individuality, interest, and enthusiasm for the job. 

Check out our transferable skills page to help you think about the skills you have developed.

This is where you will sum up any key points from the body of the letter. Try to end with a positive tone (e.g. I look forward to hearing from you…), and use a formal validation (e.g. Yours sincerely…).

Writing a cover letter Writing a cover letter
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