Cover Letters

A covering letter should always be sent with a CV. There are a number of points to be considered:

  • It introduces your application and draws attention to the main factors which make you suitable for the job.
  • It should make the employer want to read your CV. Therefore write with enthusiasm and confidence. AVOID NEGATISM!
  • The covering letter must strike a balance between accurate perceptions of your suitability to the job and the employer’s needs.
  • If you are replying to an advertisement which specifies certain qualities or qualifications, make sure you draw attention to how you fit them. Even if you do not answer every specification be as positive as possible.
  • The covering letter should be written on good quality white paper, A4 and un-ruled.
  • Make sure you keep a copy!
  • If you know the name of the person to apply to, include it with the name and address of the organisation at the top of the letter.
  • Length: There is no general rule, except the golden one: The letter must be long enough to stimulate and maintain interest.
  • Begin the letter: “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms” and end with “Yours sincerely” and if you do not know the person’s name, begin with “Dear Sir/Madam” and end with “Yours faithfully”. It always helps to print your surname below your signature

A covering letter should contain the following points:

  • Opening paragraph: Introduce yourself and what you are looking for.
  • Second paragraph = Your sales pitch!Qualifications - Technical skills - Research work - Computer skills - Previous work experience - Personal qualities - maximum 3 - back up with examples
  • Third paragraph: Why that job - Why that company
  • Final paragraph: Ask for the opportunity of an interview

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