How To Write A Good Cover Letter

You've spent hours perfecting your CV and updating your LinkedIn profile so that when you see a job advert, you can apply in seconds at the click of a button. However, if you’re not spending as much time on your cover letter, then you may be doing yourself and your efforts a great disservice.

Your cover letter is, essentially, your first introduction to an organisation or an individual; an initial handshake if you like, so you need to make sure you make a good impression. It is said that in interviews, a candidate will be judged in the first few minutes, the same can be said about a cover letter. If you don’t get it right, in all likelihood the recipient won’t even bother to open your CV.   To help you along your way, we have compiled a list of our top tips on how to write a good cover letter.

1. First impressions

In the same way that you would pay attention to your appearance before an interview, you should pay attention to the presentation of your application. Make sure you use correct spellings, sentence and paragraph structure and get your grammar right.

2. Stand out

Your prospective employer will almost certainly have experienced a deluge of applications. When your email is received, it will probably only get a cursory glance so you need to make it stand out. This is your chance to sell yourself, so seize it.

3. Read the job description

The temptation is there to write a one size fits all cover letter, but if you don’t personalise it to the company and role you are applying for, it will be obvious to the person reading it.  Do your homework about the role, understand the skills that they are looking for and reflect this in your approach.

4. Beware copy and pasting

Don’t copy and paste the same cover letter for each job application. It is too easy to make mistakes and end up referencing the wrong job or employer. If you must use a template, do a careful edit each time.

5. Be enthusiastic

If you like the sound of the role, be enthusiastic in your cover letter. Explain why you are just what they are looking for and then flatter them by explaining why they are also right for you.