How to Write Cover Letter

Opening the letter

Once you’ve covered the letter writing basics (address, hiring manager’s name if you have it), the opening paragraph should be short and to the point. Explain what job it is you’re applying for and where you found the vacancy.

Feel free to mention the website by name (e.g. ‘as advertised on reed.co.uk’) or, if someone referred you to the contact, mention their name in this section.

Example: I wish to apply for the role of IT Manager, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.

Second paragraph - Why are you suitable for the job?

Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to some of the skills listed in the job description.

If you have no specific academic or vocational qualifications to cite, use your relevant experience to win merit. If you’re lacking experience, use personal skills or attributes to show what makes you the perfect fit for the role.

Example: As you can see from my attached CV, I have over three years’ experience in the IT Industry, and I believe the knowledge and skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.

Third paragraph – What can you do for the company?

Use practical examples to emphasise what you can do for the company. These might be performance-based, and could include examples from previous positions, your current job or even from your academic career.

Always make sure your examples are as quantifiable and pertinent as possible. ‘Increased revenue by x%’, for instance, sounds a lot more impressive than simply stating you ‘Increased revenue’.

Other (role-specific) examples include ‘drove x% more traffic to the website during my time in employment’, ‘an increase in students grades by x’ and ‘achieved a first class distinction grade in my dissertation on x’.

Example: In my current role as Senior Marketing Executive at Software Company X Ltd, I have been responsible for increasing incoming client enquiries for our B2B product lines by 156% in under 12 months, which helped the business increase its revenue by 55% year-on-year.

Fourth paragraph – Reiterate

Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and why you would be the right fit for the company.

Example: I am confident that I can bring this level of success with me to your company and help IT Company LTD build upon their reputation as one the UK’s fastest-growing software houses. With my previous experience and expertise, I believe I can hit the ground running and start actively contributing to the business as soon as possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.

Closing the letter

Thank the employer for their time. It is also a good opportunity to indicate that you’d like to meet with the employer for an interview.

Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the name of the hiring manager)/ ‘Yours faithfully’ (if you do not), and your name.

Example: Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

Final thoughts

Remember: This is a template, not a ready-made cover letter. Without the proper research into the organisation advertising the role, and without tailoring the contents of your letter to the role, it will lack the impact with which a cover letter can drastically improve your chances of reaching the interview stage.

Xin Meng /
Published under (CC) BY-NC-SA in categories work  tagged with cv  finding job