Covering letters

Covering letters

Your covering letter is as important as your CV, and you should always send one unless you’re explicitly told not to.‌Two students working on papers

It’s much easier to tackle your covering letter after you’ve written your CV.

That’s because it’s good to pick out one or two key selling points from your CV and highlight these in your letter.

Your covering letter should ordinarily be one page long; think of your CV and letter combined as a three page advert for you.

Covering letter check list:



Example cover letter: Eve Fraser Cover Letter (pdf)

You could include your qualification and where you saw their vacancy (if not a speculative application). Employers like to know if their marketing strategy has been successful.

About them

Employers hate letters that look as if you’ve just sent the same thing to hundreds of others! Make it obvious that you really want to work for them. Write one or two paragraphs that:

  • Mention the employer by name.
  • Demonstrate you have researched the company and their description of the role.
  • Show how the opportunity fits into your career plans.

About you

Pick out one or two of the most convincing bits of evidence from your CV and expand on them. Write one or two paragraphs that:

  • Give the context of the experiences.
  • Use action verbs to make it clear what you did.
  • Show the specific positive results of your efforts.
  • Show that you are able to reflect accurately and positively on your performance.

A positive ending

In a short paragraph:

  • Leave the employer in no doubt that you believe you’re capable of performing well in the role.
  • Make it look as if you expect to hear from them, rather than just hope you might!
  • After all, if you don’t look as if you believe in yourself, they’re not going to believe in you either!

Additional help and support