The Dos and Don'ts of writing a good cover letter

Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2022 by Zoe FrancisNo comments

Writing a good cover letter is an essential part of applying for a job. Cover letters accompany and add context to your CV, whilst being sent as a separate attachment. It helps to sell you as an applicant and informs the employee as to why you are the best person for this job. Each cover letter that you create should be tailored for the specific job you are applying for, as it is more of a highlight reel of your relevant skills and experiences than your CV.


DO - Your research
Research who will be reading your cover letter, whether it’s the hiring manager or someone else. You should also research the company, in order to gain an understanding of its culture and what it looks for in an employee. It is worth looking into the industry that the job belongs in, to stay up to date on relevant news stories that you could potentially mention.

DON’T - Make your cover letter long winded
Cover letters should not exceed more than one A4 page and should consist of three to five short paragraphs. Remember that it is not a duplicate of your CV – it contains new information.

DO - Stay relevant
It is vital to include only relevant information in a cover letter, as you are limited in terms of length. A great tip is to go through the required skills on the job application and outline how your skills and previous experience match up.

DON’T - Forget to include examples
Using examples is a great way to showcase how you have experience in applying the skills listed on the job application to real life situations.

DO - Sign off correctly
If you have named a contact when addressing your cover letter, you should sign off as ‘yours sincerely’. If you have used a general greeting, then sign off ‘yours faithfully’.

DON’T - Use general greetings
Always try and use a named contact when addressing your cover letter. It shows that you have taken the time to research exactly who will be reading it. You should only use a more general greeting such as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ if you cannot find this information.

DO - Format your cover letter
Presentation is important in any job, so it is worth spending the time to format both your CV and cover letter properly. Make sure neither are too cluttered and that they are both cohesive documents.

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