A cover letter is a short letter, ideally no more than three paragraphs which explains why you are applying for the job.
Tips on how to write a good cover letter
- Don’t just repeat what’s in your CV. Your cover letter is almost like a conversation. Pretend you are talking directly to the employer about why they should hire you but in two to three paragraphs.
- Always write a new cover letter for each job you go for otherwise you won’t be matching your key skills against what the employer is looking for.
- Check your spelling and grammar and get someone else to check it for you as well.
- Use plain white paper
- When applying online make sure that your email is your covering letter, explaining what you have attached and which job you are applying for. If you leave the email blank it may be ignored.
- Try to find the name of who to send it to, instead of just starting the letter "Dear Sir / Madam". This will show that you have taken the time to find out who will be reading it and makes people more likely to read it all the way through.
- Explain to the employer why you want to do the job, not just how you can do it. Relate your skills to the job. Your CV is factual and tells all of the things you have done. Your covering letter should show how your skills can be used in this job.
- Say when you're available to start work.
- Thank them for taking the time to read your covering letter and let them know that if they want to speak in more detail about it you are able to attend an interview with them.
Watch our short video on how to tailor your cover letter to every job