How to write a good cover letter

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Cover letter

You should always include a cover letter with your CV when you apply for a job. Your cover letter is a space to sell your skills, ambitions and qualifications to the reader.

Introduction

 Address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager or Head of HR. Search for their name by using the company’s website or LinkedIn.

 Begin with the position that you are applying for, your most relevant skills and one line stating how they will help the employer:

“I am writing to express my interest in the position of receptionist as advertised on your website. My previous studies in Business at college and the unique skills I developed through my work experience in customer service make me an excellent fit for this role. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.”

Letter content

 Give more detail about the achievements in your CV in a more personal and descriptive way:

“As you can see from my CV, I am extremely passionate about good customer service. With over three years of experience working in the sector, I believe the knowledge and the skills I have built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for this role.”

 Make sure the letter is engaging by using short paragraphs and sentences.

 Avoid using negative examples. Instead, concentrate on writing about your passion and motivation for the position you are applying for.

 Make sure your cover letter and CV match up. A cover letter should point to the relevant experiences and skills in your CV and explain why they make you a good fit for the job.

Activity: Write your own cover letter

Write your own cover letter. Once you've finished, you can send it to us for some expert advice: wfw@literacytrust.org.uk.