How to write a great cover letter

Whilst the cover letter is often dreaded, here are a number of useful tips on how to take the stress out of writing a cover letter and give yourself the best chance of landing a job interview.

A cover letter should compliment your CV

You may be tempted to merely repeat what’s on your CV. However, this should be avoided, instead you should build on what you wrote on your CV and explain what your relevant experience is in more detail. You should link your experience to the job that you’re applying to and the specifics of the role itself.

Tailor your cover letter for each job

In your cover letter you want to showcase your skills and experience in detail whilst linking back to the job role throughout. Make sure that the person reading your cover letter will have no doubt that you wrote it specifically for that role, rather than it just being a letter you could have sent to numerous roles.

Start off writing in the third person

If you’re struggling to write about yourself for fear of bragging, just imagine that you’re a friend writing about yourself. For example, it’s much easier to say “Matt is a great candidate for the role because of his previous experience in the retail industry.” You’ll need to make sure that you change the cover letter back from third person to first person once you’ve finished the first draft.

Keep it short and sweet

Even though it can be tempting to write as much as you can on why you’d be the perfect candidate for the position you’re applying for, try and keep the cover letter short. The letter definitely shouldn’t be longer than a page, and once your details (such as address) are on the letter it would be ideal to fill just over three quarters of the A4 page. Most importantly, show your passion for the company and role in detail. If the hiring manager is able to see this, then they’ll be much more likely to offer you an interview!