A cover letter is necessary as it gives you the chance to explain to an employer why you're the best candidate for the job.
You do this by highlighting relevant skills and experience; therefore you should always write your cover letter with the position you're applying for in mind. Cover letters should complement your CV but not duplicate it. The general consensus among recruiters when it comes to the length of these documents is the shorter the better.
Typically three to five short paragraphs, cover letters should not exceed one A4 page. If sending electronically, put the text in the body of the email rather than as an attachment, to avoid it being detected by spam filters.
Applications should always include a cover letter unless the job advert instructs you differently. Keep your cover letter brief, while making sure it emphasises your suitability for the job.
It can be broken down into the following sections:. Always try and address your cover letter directly to the person who will be reading it. Bear in mind that you're more likely to receive a reply if you send it to the right person. Advertised positions usually include a contact name, but if not, it is worth taking the time to find out who the letter should be addressed to. Don't be afraid to do this, many employers will appreciate you taking the time and initiative to do so. However, general greetings should only be used once you have exhausted methods of finding a named contact.
How you sign off your cover letter depends on how you addressed it. If you include a named contact sign off 'yours sincerely'. If you use a general one finish with 'yours faithfully'. With employers often receiving lots of applications for each vacancy, you need to ensure that your cover letter makes a lasting impression for the right reasons.
Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:. If you're a student or recent graduate you can make an appointment with your university's careers and employability service to access further help when writing your cover letter.
You'll be able to talk with specially-trained advisers, get advice on what to include and have a professional eye look over your application before sending.
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CVs and cover letters. On this page What is a cover letter? How to write a cover letter How to address a cover letter Example cover letters 6 tips for the perfect cover letter. Take a look at our examples for inspiration What is a cover letter? How to write a cover letter Keep your cover letter brief, while making sure it emphasises your suitability for the job.
It can be broken down into the following sections: First paragraph - The opening statement should set out why you're writing the letter. Begin by stating the position you're applying for, where you saw it advertised and when you are available to start.
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