- Always tailor your covering letter to the specific role.
- Show you have researched the role, the organisation and the industry.
- Outline why you are attracted to the specific opportunity.
- Highlight your unique selling points.
- When applying by email, add the letter as an attachment.
- Use one page of A4 paper and four or five paragraphs.
- Address your letter to a named person.
- Include your contact details and the employer’s (including their title).
- Make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect.
- Use a professional tone.
- Link your writing style to the industry, e.g. covering letters for a job as a waitress will be less formal than those for an internship at a bank
Content – a suggested structure
- Paragraph 1: a positive, formal introduction outlining how you heard about the opportunity
- Paragraph 2: outline why you are interested in the role and the organisation
- demonstrate research
- say how the opportunity fits into your career plans
- Paragraph 3 and 4: highlight your key skills and experiences and why these make you a suitable candidate
- Paragraph 5: end positively and confirm that you will be available for interview
10 common mistakes in covering letters:
- Not sending one!
- Dwelling on negatives
- No named individual
- Poor spelling or grammar
- Irrelevant information
- Badly presented
- Too long
- Difficult to read
- Inappropriate style