Writing a Good Cover Letter

Behind every CV is a good cover letter…

A cover letter is an essential part of almost every job application. Not only do you have to make sure it sells your skills and abilities to recruiters, you also need to do it a clear and concise manner – that ultimately persuades the reader to want to meet you.

First things first, you need to do your research.

Take some time to investigate the role you’re applying for and the company – and use this information to tailor your cover letter accordingly.

Here are a few key things you should find out before you start writing:

  • What does the company do?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • Who are their target audience?
  • What does the role involve?
  • What are the essential skills?

Once you’ve found answers to these questions, you’ll be able to make it clear in your cover letter how your skills and abilities match up with what the employer is looking for.

This is the difference between a CV and a cover letter. Your CV informs your prospective employer about your skills, experience and qualifications. A cover letter allows you opportunity to say why all these things make you a good fit for their role. The best way to construct this is by taking what skills and qualities they are looking for. These can be found on the job advert, job role information and the company’s website. By knowing about the company and what they are looking for now compare these skills with your experience and write examples of when you have done it.

Have a look at our example Cover Letter below and see how they have matched what they write to what the employer was looking for from the job advert. You may also want to add information about why you want to work for a specific company (eg. A Cinema, because your passion for Spy films, and your preference for the older James bond movies over the new ones) This still should be short and precise and will hopefully bring up something to discuss if your successful for an interview.

1

Your Name

Your Address

Your Phone Number

Your Email

Date

Title and surname (if available)

Organization

Address

Dear Mr./Ms. (add Last Name if available on advert)

I am interested in the XXXXXXXX position advertised on XXXXXXXXX. My CV is enclosed/attached for your review. Given my related experience and excellent capabilities, I would appreciate your consideration for this job opening. My skills are an ideal match for this position.

This is an example where the applicant has matched their skills and experience with examples to the requested requirements for the advertised role (which were; You will be responsible for evening operations in Student Center and other facilities, including managing registration, solving customer problems, dealing with risk management and emergencies, enforcement of department policies. Assists with hiring, training, and management of staff. Coordinate statistics and inventory. Experience in the supervision of student staff and strong interpersonal skills are also preferred. Valid driver’s license with a good driving record. Ability to travel to different sites required. Experience in collegiate programming and management.)

  • My current/ past roles involved registering students for courses, design and manage program software, solve customer problems, enforce department policies, and serve as a contact for students, faculty, and staff.
  • I’ve been fully involved within the hiring, training, scheduling, and management of staff, managing supply inventory, and ordering.
  • I hold a full UK driving license with no endorsements.
  • Extensive experience in collegiate programming and management from my role within XXXXXX.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

I welcome the opportunity to talk with you further about this opportunity; I can be reached at the contact details given above. Thanks again for your consideration.

Sincerely,

(Signature, if posting/hand delivering)

Your Name

Vocational Services in Dorset