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how to write and lay out a covering letter

Your covering letter is as important as your CV. It can help to differentiate your application from all the others and ensure that it stands out.

The purpose of a covering letter is to introduce you and your CV to a potential employer. So whenever you send your CV you should always include a covering letter – it is a vital tool in selling yourself and it needs to grab the attention of the employer and interest them.

Your Parkhouse consultant will be able to help you construct your covering letter, but below are a few key points that you should bear in mind.

Presentation

  • Use only one typeface and print your letter in black ink on white paper
  • Keep the letter brief – two or three paragraphs is often sufficient and you should never use more than one side of A4
  • Double check for spelling and grammatical errors
  • Keep the layout clean, structured and simple

Content

  • At the start of the letter, state the job you are applying for and any reference numbers
  • If you are replying to an advert then mention the job title and where you saw the position advertised
  • Always contain information that may have been requested within the advert – such as current salary, etc
  • Then explain why you are interested in the role and why you are the right person for the job. Describe how you are suitable by highlighting your strengths
  • It can be beneficial to say why you are interested in working for the employer
  • Indicate when you are available for interview
  • Most importantly, do not repeat information already covered in your CV

For more guidance please view our covering letter template