Top tips to prepare your cover letter

Your cover letter gives you an opportunity to expand on things you were unable to in your CV. So we’ve listed top tips on how to make the most of writing your cover letter. We’ve also included an example which will help you get an idea of the layout and what should be included.

  • Advert response or Speculative cover letter
    The concept of an advert response and speculative cover letter is the same. When you write an advert response, you are applying for a role you have seen advertised. If you are writing a speculative cover letter, you are sending out your cover letter and cv to a company without seeing a vacancy advertised.In both cases, you need to demonstrate your skills and knowledge of the firm.

  • Keep it short and sharp
    Ensure you have researched the company and job role properly and that you are able to portray this knowledge in your cover letter. However, make sure your letter is concise and you’re not rambling on about why you should have the job. Your cover letter should be no more than one A4 side.

  • Adjust your writing style
    A good cover letter is written in a formal, professional style, but not too formal that it’s difficult to read. Make sure the letter fits the style of the organisation and job role you are applying to.

CV
  • First paragraph
    Start your cover letter briefly explaining who you are, the role you are applying for, and where you found the job vacancy advertised. Don’t include too much information in the first paragraph as this information is detailed later on in your cover letter.

  • Second paragraph
    In this paragraph detail why you have an interest in the job role and any background knowledge which will support this.

  • Third paragraph
    This is where you explain what skills you have, the qualifications which specifically apply to the job role, and what you can offer to the employer. It is important you don’t repeat yourself from what you’ve written in your CV!

  • Conclusion
    Conclude your cover letter thanking the employer for their time and mention that your CV and references are attached (if applicable).

  • Proof read Grammatical errors in a cover letter give off a bad first impression and can make the difference between you or another candidate being selected. It’s a very simple thing but will make a big difference!

  • Save as PDF
    Save your word document as a PDF file when you are all done and do not want to change anything anymore. This way you prevent messed up lay outs or other changes that are unintentional.

Example Cover Letter

If you are wondering how to write a cover letter, this is the right place for you. Check out our cover letter template below for inspiration. Remember, the job market is highly competitive so use this cover letter example to help you stand out from the crowd!

Create your CV A Guide to Job Hunting

EXAMPLE ONLY: COVER LETTER

Your address
City
Postcode
youremail@email.co.uk
Date, example: 1st July 2013
 
Dear Mrs Smith,

Marketing Internship



I would like to apply for the position of Marketing Intern as advertised on studentjob.co.uk. I am a second year student studying BSc Marketing at the University of Cardiff.


I have always had a keen interest in marketing which influenced my decision to study marketing at university and partake in my extracurricular activities. I am an active member of the Marketing Society where I help arrange events, society meetings and talks from prospective employers. Through my part-time job, I was responsible for establishing an effective marketing campaign for the launch of a new boutique in the centre of Cardiff, using various methods such as social media. I therefore have a strong understanding of how modern day marketing techniques can be used for business opportunities and networking. Furthermore, I was elected as the Team Leader as part of my degree module “Student Enterprise” where we were required to develop our own business idea and pitch it to potential investors against an opposing team. This allowed me to develop my leadership skills by delegating the appropriate roles and responsibilities to each team member, ensuring the team would successfully reach our aims and objectives.


I have many skills which I am able to contribute to the job role. My excellent communicational skills (both written and verbal) allow me to interact with members of an organisation from all levels. I have developed my public speaking and presentation skills through completing university presentations to new and prospective students and to my faculty department. I am organised, efficient and strive to complete any challenge given to me to the highest standard.


Attached is a copy of my CV. I am able to provide the names of referees who will support my application.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Yours faithfully,


Joe Bloggs

Once you have perfected your cover letter, you'll be ready to start applying for jobs! Check out our part time vacancies and graduate jobs to get started...