Covers letters are intended to be an introduction to your CV and to entice the recruiter into looking at your CV in more detail and should ALWAYS be tailored to each employer.
Formatting - The Basic Principles
- Your cover letter should be no more than one A4 page.
- It should look neat and professional and only using one standard font such as Arial or Calibri.
- Your name, address, email and contact number should always be on the right hand side. The name and address of the company you are applying should be on the left hand side.
- On the left hand side, insert the date of your application and then leaving one space below, it should open with ‘Dear Mr/Ms...’ If you do not know the name of the person you are addressing it to, put in ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
- End the cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely,’ leaving a space below then create a small line underneath (big enough to write your full name on) along with your full name typed out underneath the line.
In the main body of text, you should always cover the 4 key areas in separate paragraphs;
- The position you are applying for (including the reference number, if any) and where you saw the position advertised. Outline your current situation; i.e. are you a recent graduate or if you are about to graduate. Include the title of your degree, what college or university you attended and the grade you achieved.
- Explain why you are interested in the company and the position and why you believe yourself to be the ideal candidate for the position.
- Referring to the job description; highlight the specific skills and summarise the previous experience you have that fits the criteria. This section is the most important of all, so be clear, concise and don’t give them every detail that is in your CV.
- Repeat your interest in the position and state whether you are available for interview at any time or that you are unavailable between selected dates.