Cover letters

What is a Cover letter?

This is a letter that you send with your CV when you apply for a job. It introduces you to the employer and is an opportunity for you to highlight your skills and experience that are relevant for the role you are applying for. Each cover letter, like your CV, should be tailored for each job application.


How long is a Cover letter? 

It really depends on the role and seniority of the position you are applying for. Some job adverts will tell you the maximum length of a cover letter.

However, cover letters should generally be no more than one side of A4. Aim for three to five short paragraphs that highlight your skills and mirror the advert, job description and person specification (if supplied).

If you are applying by email your cover letter should be in the body of the email and not sent as a separate attachment. You can always write it out on an A4 page first to get the right length and then copy and paste the paragraphs into your email. Don’t forget to use your programme’s spelling and grammar checkers to avoid unnecessary mistakes. 


How to address your letter 

Where possible you should address the letter to the hiring manager or the person who is receiving the applications (this could be someone in HR or a recruitment consultant). If you don’t know who will be receiving the applications, it’s better to be more formal for example Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Whom it may concern or Dear Sir or Madam.

Remember if you use someone’s name, finish your letter with Yours sincerely. If you don’t use someone’s name, use Yours faithfully.


What to include 

Keep it brief and relevant; use this as an opportunity to highlight your skills and show why you should be considered for the role and invited to interview.

The opening sentence
Start with explaining why you are writing to the organisation for example:

‘I am writing to you to apply for your recently advertised role of Diagnostic technician advertised on your company website.’

Next, say you’re suitable for the position, what attracted you to the role and the company. For example:

I am a fully qualified diagnostic technician, and would like the opportunity to work within [insert company name], a forward-thinking business within the industry that has a superb reputation, with both its employees and customers.’

Next, you should highlight your experience and link this to what the business is looking for. Mirror keywords from the advertisement and/or job description. For example, if you a business is looking for candidates who have knowledge of specific tools and systems and you do highlight that. Similarly, if they looking for people who are ‘highly motivated and solution oriented’ give an example that shows you are:

‘Over the last four years, I have gained a wide and varied range of skills, and have in-depth knowledge of diagnostics using a range of tools and systems including [x system/tools]. I am motivated and believe one of my biggest strengths is my ability to problem solve and find solutions. I am a committed team member who is flexible and adaptable to meet my employer’s needs.’

Finally, repeat your interest in the role and that you are keen to discuss your application with them. And, last but not least, thank them for their time.

‘I would like the opportunity to discuss this role with you further and I am available at any time convenient to you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to speak with you soon.’

If you would like help with your cover letter or with another aspect of looking for a job, call us on 08081 311 333 or chat with us online using the chat function at the top of the page - we're here to help.

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