A good covering letter is a way of presenting a personal touch to a CV and most importantly attracts the attention of the recruiter. It will help the candidate stand out from the crowd. It is the only opportunity to attract the eye of the recruiter, so it demands very careful attention.

It is an opportunity to demonstrate enthusiasm, relevance and understanding for a role, and is the one chance to encourage an interviewer to take the application a stage further. Remember, too, there may be a need to alter the covering letter for each application depending on the job requirement.

These days many applications are made by email rather than snail mail, but whatever route it is important to ensure the quality and accuracy, even if email is regarded as a quick and easy way to communicate with minimalist language.

A letter should be brief and to the point and no more than one page in length, perhaps no more than two paragraphs will suffice, highlighting the most important key attributes that you have to offer.

There is nothing worse than a badly written and misspelt letter. Read it through to ensure there are no mistakes before it is signed and posted. Don’t forget to enclose the CV!


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Trevor’s tips for a good cover letter

  • The covering letter should be well constructed, brief and to the point. Make it relevant to the job which is being applied for. Do not be too informal. If unsure, then formal is always better than informal.
  • Think about what the prospective employer wants to see by trying to reflect the tone of the recruitment advertisement or the job specification from your agency consultant.
  • Remember the basics. Dear (title and name) is always ended by ‘yours sincerely’. Dear (Sir etc) by ‘yours faithfully’.
  • Double check the accuracy of  the letter.