How to create the perfect cover letter.

Why does a cover letter add value to your application?

If you are serious about landing the job, a well-written targeted cover letter enables you to highlight your value and explain why you are the ideal applicant. So, if you are wondering whether you should include a cover letter, the short answer is yes!

A cover letter can make an excellent first impression. It's a great way of personalising your application and reassuring a prospective employer that you are genuinely interested in their position and that you are not randomly applying for jobs without giving them proper thought. Essential in any job market.

 

When should a cover letter be sent?

While many hiring managers may not request a cover letter, that doesn't mean to say you shouldn't send one.

If you are applying online, some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) may not allow you to submit one. If that's the case, don't worry, however do send one:

  • If the employer, hiring manager or recruiter requests one.
  • If you are directly applying to a person and you know their name
  • If someone has referred you for the position 

 

How to write a great cover letter 

A great cover letter should provide the hiring manager with an exciting insight of you as a potential employee. It needs to demonstrate your knowledge of, and interest in, the company and should explain why you are interested in the position.

Your cover letter needs to focus on specific content in your CV, which matches you to the position (experience, education, voluntary and extra-curricular work). It should be no longer than one side in length.

Before compiling your cover letter, consider the following to ensure your letter is personalised and targeted;

  • A good reason why you would like to work for the organisation 
  • Study the job advert carefully, so you know the skills and attributes that are important
  • Clarify what it is about the role that interests you

Research plays a crucial part in any job application, and before you begin writing your cover letter, you need to ensure you have done your research correctly.

  • Who will be receiving and reading your letter 
  • The company's position in the marketplace and its competitors 
  • The industry sector and any recent news, trends and challenges 
  • The organisations aims and intentions for the present year and the future 

By building up a good understanding of the company and industry helps you to tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to and shows your passion for the job and the sector.

 

Example of cover letter format 

 

(Insert Date)

  Rose Cottage
Somewhere Drive
Any Town
County
Postcode 


(Name of person you are writing to) - if known
(Title) - if known
(Name of organisation)
Address 

(To whom it may concern) or (Dear Sir or Madam) or (Dear insert name of person if known)

Re: (Insert job title of role you are applying for)

With this cover letter and the enclosed CV, I would like to express my keen interest in the above position.

I am familiar with [name of organisation], having [explain how you know about the organisation/who you have spoken to about it] and I believe that my skill set is a good match for the position. I pride myself on my [insert the qualities you have that you think are most relevant for this role] and my ability to build strong relationships with my colleagues.

The [insert job title] role particularly appeals to me because [explain what attracts you to it – perhaps it enables you to utilise or develop your skills, while learning about a new sector].

Thank you for considering my application. If you have any questions regarding my previous career history, or suitability for the role, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have included my phone number and email address below for your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you.

[Yours faithfully – if you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to] or [Yours
sincerely]

Your Name

Tel: [Insert telephone number]
Email: [Insert email address]

 

Example cover letter 

(Insert Date)

Rose Cottage
Somewhere Drive
Town
County
Postcode


George Matthers 
Head of Human Resources
Excellent Company
Elite Centre 
Brighton 
BN1 2AB


Dear Mr Mathers, 

Re: HR Manager Vacancy 

With this cover letter and the enclosed CV, I would like to express my keen interest in the above position.

I am familiar with Excellent Company, having read about your innovative and forward-thinking approach to talent acquisition and retention when recently featured in the Financial Times.

CIPD qualified (MCIPD), I believe that my skill set is a good match for the position. I pride myself on my strong employment law knowledge and my successful track record in delivering corporate strategy and objectives.

The HR Manager role particularly appeals to me because it would allow me to manage a larger team in a dynamic environment. People management is something I enjoy and have received positive feedback about and it is a skill which I am keen to keep developing.

Thank you for considering my application. If you have any questions regarding my previous career history, or suitability for the role, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have included my phone number and email address below for your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Imogen Smith
Tel: 06789 12345
Email: ismith@gmail.com

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