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Careers and Employability

Covering Letters


So, What Exactly Is A Covering Letter?

A covering letter is a document which introduces you, and your CV, to prospective employers. Covering letters are not just used exclusively to apply for jobs - they can also be used speculatively to apply for work placements, project opportunities or to enquire as to the availability of work.

Often a cover letter is your first communication with an employer and, therefore, it's important that you make a good impression. It should succinctly demonstrate that you are suitable for the position, and organisation, and ensure the employer wants to find out more about you.


What To Include In Your Covering Letter

Typically, you should include the details of the job role that you're applying for, where you saw it advertised and any reference details that are stated in the job advert. If you are applying speculatively, ensure that you include some detail about the type of roles you would be interested in.

You will also need to cover why you're applying for the role, and why you're applying to this particular company. Make sure that you have done some research so that you can impress the recruiter's with your enthusiasm.

You might want to use our handy Covering Letter Template which guides you through the format and content of a typical covering letter.


Top Tips

  • Your covering letter should not be longer than one page of A4.
  • It should be properly formatted as a letter with the addresses in the correct place.
  • If possible try and get the name of someone involved in the recruitment process so you can send the letter directly to the most appropriate person.
  • If you have a contact name then the letter should end the letter with ‘yours sincerely’.
  • If you don't have a name, address the letter using Dear Sir/Madam and end the letter with ‘yours faithfully’.
  • Covering letters should be typed - not hand written - unless otherwise stated.
  • Don't repeat what is on your CV; just highlight the most relevant points.
  • Spells check the letter and, if possible, get someone to proof read it for you.
  • Make sure the text of the letter sounds positive.
  • Make sure you make it clear why you are making contact with the company and that you have thoroughly researched the company to show that you have taken a real interest in them.




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