A decent cover letter can go a long way to convincing a hiring manager why you deserve the job, however the opposite is also true. A poor cover letter that doesn’t address the job in question or does so littered with spelling mistakes is not going to make you look good. Here’s our guide on how to get it right.

It is important for you to know that a detailed cover letter is not normally required at the time of sending your CV to us. If our client requires a cover letter your recruiter will let you know.

If a cover letter is required, here are our top tips to help you write a great cover letter:

In terms of format, the first paragraph should introduce the job you’re applying for. There’s some debate about whether you should if fact drop this section and launch right in to the actual content, but including it makes sure the hiring manager knows what job you’re applying for even if the letter gets separated from the rest of your documents.

Next is the general body of the letter. Make sure you are clear in what you are saying. The overall aim of the cover letter is to explain why you are best-suited to the job. However, what it is not is a rehash of your CV. A good cover letter addresses the job criteria and uses your past experience and skills to explain your suitability for the position.

The most important thing is to keep everything relevant. If you’ve included a piece of past experience but aren’t sure how it helps your cause you have two options. Make it relevant or cut it out. This can be the toughest part of writing a cover letter, having to focus on each point in the job criteria and explaining clearly and concisely why you are the perfect candidate.

When you reach the end of the cover letter leave a sentence or two to draw everything to a close. If you addressed the letter to a named person close with ‘yours sincerely’, but if you didn’t have a name use ‘yours faithfully’.

Here are a few details to remember:

  • Keep it short- half a page is about right.
  • Don’t merely list your job history. The Hiring Manager already has your CV, they don’t need a second version.
  • Ensure everything you include is relevant, or else cut it out.