Top tips for writing a Cover Letter

  • Get to the point quickly – show rather than tell how you have the skills necessary to do the job – provide evidence. Pick out bits from your CV, but avoid repeating exact phrases
  • Be concise – do not cram every reason why you might get hired. Be selective and create impact
  • The employer is the focus not you - try not to begin every sentence and paragraph with "I". State why you are attracted to the organisation and what you like about it. Try to work out the top half dozen or so priorities in the employer's mind and offer five or six matching pieces of evidence in your cover letter
  • Why you are the person for the job – select a range of achievements relevant to the needs of the organisation and set out your top three or four as points you will cover in the letter. Do not apologise in your letter for the lack of experience or your lack of a specific qualification
  • Accuracy and research - you need complete accuracy in names and job titles, as well as the name of the organisation itself (plus the names of products or services). Print a letter off and proof read it carefully before emailing
  • Who to send it to? - research the staff list of the organisation carefully to ensure your letter is read by the right decision maker. LinkedIn will help and some organisations’ websites will have a list of staff. For larger organisations, the HR/ talent acquisition departments will deal with all aspects to do with recruitment and it is also worth targeting the head of the department in which you are trying to get a job
  • How to end - avoid being pushy and simply end your message stating that you would like the opportunity to take the conversation further

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