Follow our 6 steps to laying out a cover letter.
Include a line or heading at the top of your letter, which states the role you want to apply for and any reference number from the job description. This makes it easier for the reader – the company might be recruiting for more than one job at the same time.
You should mention where you heard about the role and any other documents you’ve attached (for example your CV or application).
If you're keen to work for a company who are not advertising a certain role, you can still send a speculative cover letter and CV. Use the cover letter to describe what position you're interested in.
2. Why you're interested
First, outline why you're interested in the role and the organisation - research the employer and explain how the role fits into your career plans.
3. What you have to offer
Highlight the skills and experience you have that relate to this role using the requirements outlined in the job description. Use the same language as the employer so they can spot it easily. If they’ve got a lot of applications, this will make it easier for them to pull out the important information.
You could use a statement along the lines of ‘There are 3 key reasons to consider my application’, and then list those reasons with a short explanation of each.
Learn more about what skills there are to help you pull out examples that show off your skills.
4. Address the gaps
If you have gaps in your CV or you're making a career change, you might want to use an extra paragraph here to explain.
5. Your conclusion
End positively. Say that you look forward to hearing from them and hope to discuss the role further. It’s also worth mentioning any dates you will not be available for interview.
If you do manage to address your letter to a particular person, you should sign it off with ‘yours sincerely’. If you’ve had to insert ‘sir/madam’ instead, you should end with ‘yours faithfully’.
6. Contact details
If you send your cover letter in an email, remember to put in a signature at the bottom. This should include: your name, address, phone number and email (just a reminder – make sure it’s an appropriate email address!) You could also add links such as your LinkedIn profile or your Twitter handle if you use this professionally.
If you’re writing a letter to post or attach as a document, treat it as a traditional letter and put your name and address in the top right-hand corner. Add the company’s name and address below this on the left-hand side of the page.