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Covering Letter Top Tips

  • Stop talking about experience, start talking about abilities

    When writing a covering letter, just listing the experience that you have won’t cut it. Instead focus on talking about your abilities and how these relate to the job in question.

  • Don’t waffle on! Now is not the time to show off your descriptive writing

    A Covering letter should not have your life story; it should be much more of a marketing school. A brief intro, two short paragraphs and a closer is all you need.

  • Got a success story? A key accomplishment? Share it, but keep it brief!

    Employers are always interested in things that make you stand out from the crowd, but they don’t want to read on for hours. Summarise your success into a couple of sentences that make them want to find out more.

  • Hype yourself up!

    Words like ‘good’ and ‘okay’ aren’t going to excite anyone. Think about your skills and think of some better words to describe them. No one wants an average candidate.

  • A covering letter should compliment not duplicate your CV

    Try to avoid listing skills you have on your CV, instead talk about your abilities. Rather than saying ‘I took on the role of sixth form representative’ say ‘I have exceptional communication skills and vast experience liaising with a variety of people’.

  • Introduction and Closers are key

    An introduction should grab the employee’s attention and a closer should make them want to read more. Think of unique and exciting ways to introduce yourself and ensure you make a long-lasting impression.

  • Personalise your text

    Show that you have researched both the job and the company. No two cover letters should ever be identical. By all means base them from the same template, but you need to show you have researched the company and the job spec. Look at words used in the job specification and try and integrate them in your letter.

  • Be formal, but show you have a personality

    Covering letters should be written in Standard English and with a formal tone, however try and stay away from sounding like a robot. Aim to come across as professional, but equally excited and eager to be part of the company.

  • Make sure you lay your letter out well

    Employers don’t want to have to search for your contact details! These should be at the top of the page so employees know how to get in touch if they’re interested.

  • I cannot stress this enough: Spelling and grammar!

    A key thing employer will look for is a professionally written letter. Proof read, get someone else to proof read and then proof read again! Spelling and grammar mistakes are one of the main things that will make an employer disregard a CV, no matter how skilled the candidate is.

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