What is a covering letter?
When you send out your CV you must always include a covering (or cover) letter (unless the employer specifies not to). It is usually a Word document or PDF that is set out like a formal letter.
It is essential that you tailor every covering letter that you send out.
- Make it professional, uncluttered, well-written and enthusiastic.
- Show understanding of the job, the sector and the organisation and explain why you want to work for them. Keynote is a great tool for researching sectors.
- Write about specifc skills and experiences that make you right for this role.
- Instead of repeating everything from your CV, focus on the top few pieces of information that most strongly demonstrate your suitability for the role.
- Ideally, write to a named contact rather than "Sir/madam".
- In most cases you should email your covering letter as a Word document/PDF attachment to an email and include a brief explanation in the email text.
- Read the helpsheet on covering letters on Moodle
- Check our events page for covering letter workshops.
- Once you have completed a draft get your covering letter checked at the Careers & Employability Service.