How to Write a Covering Letter: Everything You Need to Know

In our experience, writing a covering letter is one of the things that job seekers struggle with most, especially when trying to land their first graduate job. However, a covering letter is nothing to worry about and if you follow our 7 key steps then you will already be on the right track to success.

1. Format and Structure

Your cover letter should look professional and be structured like a business letter:

  • Have your address in the top right corner.
  • List the employer’s address and the date in the top left corner.
  • If you don’t know who it should be addressed to always begin with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
  • Sign off with ‘Yours Faithfully’.
  • Cover letters should be no longer than 1 page.

2. Introduction

The first paragraph of your cover letter should include what degree you’ve done, when you graduated/are graduating and what role you are applying for. This introduction should only be 2-3 lines long.

3. Why the Company?

Next you should have another couple of lines explaining why you are specifically interested in applying to work for that company. Do some research on their website, find out what makes them different/unique and describe why this is appealing to you. If your covering letter is for a role being advertised through a recruitment consultancy who doesn’t name the employer then you can skip this paragraph.

4. Why the Role?

Take a close look at the job description when putting together this section of your covering letter. Are there any stand out responsibilities or areas of interest that leap out to you in the job description? You need to think about exactly what it is about the role that appeals to you.

5. Why You?

Now it’s your time to sell yourself and tell the employer exactly why you are perfect for their role. This should be the largest paragraph in your cover letter, but don’t go overboard trying to cram in all of your successes and experience. Think of 2-3 reasons and relevant examples to include here.

6. Clarify Details

If there is anything in your CV that may lead an employer to question your application for the role, you can use your covering letter to explain. For example, if you’re planning on relocating to where the opportunity is based then you should probably mention that, otherwise the employer may be confused as to why you are looking in an area that you live miles away from.

7. Conclusion

Conclude your covering letter politely with a ‘Thank you for reading my application’. You can also detail your availability at this stage, for example if you’re going travelling for a few weeks then let the employer know when you will be available to take their call.

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