Covering Letters

Write an impressive covering letter

If you are sending your CV to an organisation, you should accompany it with a covering letter. The covering letter is as important as your CV because it allows you to explain why you are attracted to the job or course and the organisation concerned, as well as make the match between your skills, knowledge and experience, and what they need. This is partly done through the evidence you have provided in your CV, but the letter brings all the key elements together. 

Covering letters also give you the opportunity to say more about any difficult issues in your past which you fear, if unexplained, may jeopardise your application, for example, poor exam results, periods of unemployment or lack of relevant experience. Use the letter to explain how you have coped with setbacks and how they demonstrate your positive qualities such as determination and persistence. 

If you have health-related issues or a disability, it is your decision whether to disclose this at the application stage. You will often be judged on the quality of the letter you write as some recruiters may not read your CV if your letter fails to impress. The content is crucial, but so is appearance, the use of appropriate English, correct spelling and grammar, and the general ‘professionalism’ of what you write. 

  • Aim for one side of A4. However, if you’re responding to an advertised opportunity, make sure you follow the instructions provided.

  • The writing style should be professional, using terminology that is appropriate to the organisation and position you’re applying for. Check your spelling and grammar carefully.
  • Try to limit the number of sentences beginning with ‘I’, as this can become repetitive after a while and won’t convince a reader that you are capable of communicating effectively in writing!

  • Try to use plain, clear language. Avoid using overly emotional language such as ‘passionate about’ and ‘love to’ in your letter. Other terms such as ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘committed’ are probably better.

  • Use powerful words such as ‘contributed’, ‘influenced’, ‘managed’ and ‘negotiated’, which are proactive and indicate that you have the initiative and ability to make things happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively. For more information see our Cookies Policy