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How to write a cover letter

When applying for a job or approaching a recruitment agency, don’t underestimate the importance of a strong cover letter.

There’s some debate around whether or not covering letters are still necessary, but we believe they are. Even if a prospective employer doesn’t actually read it (the reality is some won’t), many of them still expect one to be submitted. For recruiters, a strong covering letter is an extra tool they can use when pitching you to prospective employers.

This is your opportunity to summarise your relevant experience, demonstrate your alignment with the role and give the employer or recruiter some more insight into your communication skills and personality.

If you’re serious about getting a new job, read our guide to writing a great cover letter below or download our example cover letter to get you started.

Length

Keep it concise and match your relevant skills closely to the advert’s desired attributes, qualification and experience. Highlight any significant achievements that show why you’d be a good fit for the role and provide more detail in your resume.

Style

Use the same type font as your resume, preferably one that’s familiar and easy to read, such as Arial. Make sure the text is a comfortable size and your paragraphs are broken up properly. Send it as a PDF or MS Word file to ensure it can be viewed by all systems.

Address

Make sure you address it to the right person. We often receive cover letters addressed to other companies and recruitment agencies – not a great start!

Grammar and Spelling

Okay – it seems obvious, we know. But if you don’t check spelling and grammar before you submit an application, you risk being moved to the bottom of the pile. Don’t give the reader an excuse to discard your application!

Example cover letter

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to apply for the position of ……. as advertised [publication] on [date].

I believe I have the skills and experience required for this position. I am currently employed as ….

Over the past two years in particular, I have gained experience……list the experience you have that DIRECTLY matches the list of required experience/skills in the job advert.

I am particularly interested in this role because …… now explain why you want to work for this company and what you can bring to the role. Please refer to my resume attached.

I would appreciate the opportunity of an interview and I can be contacted at the above address, or on my home phone [telephone number] or via email at …

Yours faithfully,

Joe Jobseeker

If you’re looking for a new job in accounting, finance, or business support, contact us today to arrange a meeting with one of our expert recruitment consultants.

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