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Job Interview

HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER

Learn about cover letters, why they're important and how to use them.

A cover letter introduces you to an employer and asks them to think about your application. It’s a short letter - 3 to 5 paragraphs - that you should send with your CV or application form. 

When to use a cover letter

When you apply for a job using a CV or application form you should always include a cover letter.


Do your research

Check the company’s website to learn more about their products and services. Also, look up recent news items about them.

Send it to the right person

Check you have the details of the person you need to send your letter to. You'll need their name and preferred title, for example; Dr, Mr, Mrs, Ms, and their job title. You should also have the right company name and address including a postcode.

It's important to try to address your letter to someone by name. If the job advert does not include a name you can check the company website. If you cannot find a name, you can start your letter with, ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.


Write your opening paragraph

Introduce yourself and explain how you found the advertised job. You can mention the job title, and reference number if there is one. If you’re asking about possible job openings rather than an actual vacancy, tell them the kind of job you’re looking for. Let the employer see how keen you are to work for them.


Show you're right for the job

Show that you understand what the employer is looking for by highlighting the skills and experience you have that match what they want. Convince them that you're enthusiastic about working for them because you share their work values, culture and style.

Give extra information

If you’ve mentioned on your CV that you have a disability, you might want to talk more about this in your cover letter. If you have gaps in your employment history, you could talk about the skills you gained while you were out of work.

Pull it all together

Thank the employer for considering your application. Invite them to get more details from your CV. Tell them you're looking forward to hearing from them and let them know how you prefer to be contacted, for example by telephone, email or post.


Sign off in the right way

If you’ve written to a named person remember to sign off with ‘Yours sincerely’. If you started your letter, ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, then it’s ‘Yours faithfully’. Remember to send your CV as an attachment if you’re applying by email. Enclose a copy of your printed CV if you are making an application by post.

How to write a cover letter: Job Seekers
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