Writing a Cover Letter

Paul Good

Writing a cover letter is key when submitting any CV, with 51.7% of employers ranking it as the most important part of any application.

The cover allows you to explain why the company should offer you an interview, why you are the right person for the role and what you can bring to the company.

While the CV highlights your skills and experience, the cover letter shows employers you have research and understood the position available.

Cover letter research

Before you start writing your cover letter, it is key to understand what the employer is looking for.

While you may be keen to start writing your cover letter, without the correct research you may find your cover letter not showcasing the information they are requiring.

What to include in your research?

  • Write down the skills and experience from the job description.
  • Find out about the company, check their website and social, understand their culture.
  • Find their competitors and marketing position.
  • Who is receiving the application?

Building your knowledge of the company shows your interest in the role, that you have the passion to work for the company and that allows you to tailor your cover letter to that industry.

Building the format.

The basic cover letter follows a similar format, each one will be tailored to a different role but the structure of information will be similar.

  1. The position you are interested in and why?
  2. Relevant Skills and experience.
  3. How your skills and experience are right for this role.
  4. Summary and thank you.

Writing your cover letter.

Cover letters followed the traditional writing standard of using the company address at the top of the page, as well as your own.

This is very rare now, most applications are online and this is no longer required.

A cover letter wants to be no more than 1 A4 piece of paper.

Font size no smaller than 11.

Make sure to use a professional font.

Ideally, 4-5 paragraphs cover all the information.

Do not just rewrite your CV in your cover letter, make sure you use your notes from the research you did on the role.

Using the structured format to professional present your reasons for applying.

Some people use the cover letter to write a brief introduction, cover the position they are applying for and direct the employer to the CV attached. This is bad practice. 

If you are required to email your application then you can email a brief cover letter about the role you are applying for but attached your Cover letter and CV.

Remember your cover letter will give the employer the information on why they should hire you.  Your CV backs up your Cover Letter.

Always proofread your cover letter and CV, have someone check it and use websites such as Grammarly.

Don’t be afraid to play around with the design, or presentation. Make your cover letter stand out, highlight your skills and grab the employers attention.

Don’t be afraid to use bullet points.

If you want help writing your CV, click here to check out great tips to make your cv stand out. 

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