How to write the perfect Cover Letter


(Examples included )

A COVER LETTER  is a perfect way to compliment your CV and an effective way to impress hiring managers when applying for your dream job. It displays your writing skills, sets you apart from other candidates and shows you went the extra mile. Your cover letter should answer two key questions according to Linda Spencer, associate director and coordinator of career advising at Harvard Extension School…

 “It takes the average employer about seven seconds to review these documents,” says Spencer. “They’re not reading, they’re skimming. So, you need to make it clear right off the bat how you can add value.”


  • Address the letter to a specific person and in the correct format.

Your cover letter should start with a cover letter header – this is the first thing that will be seen so needs to be correct! Your personal details go on the right hand and should include your full name, address, email address, and contactable phone number. On the left-hand side, enter the name of the person you are writing to, their title, the name of the company and the company address.

You should try and address your letter directly to your reader. This shows that you have made the effort to find out who they are, the reader will want to know about them in turn, if you cannot find a name use ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ instead or LinkedIn is a great place to explore. Simply enter the company name and some keywords into the search bar and a variety of related profiles will appear.

  • Introduce yourself and clearly state the purpose of your letter

Your opening sentence needs to grab the reader’s attention with a personalised introduction - Avoid overly vague and cliche statements. You should aim to include why their company is the reason you are applying and how your professional or personal passion is the basis as to why this job is for you.

  • How do your achievements make you exactly what the company are looking for

Your central paragraph/s should mention why the company would benefit from having you in their team. It’s not enough to simply list what you’re experienced in as this only rehash’s your CV. Instead, you need to demonstrate why you truly are the best possible candidate for the role. The best way to do this?... NUMBERS . Numbered achievements can really get accomplishments across much more impactful than words.

 TIP - Avoid using too many “I” statements because it can come off as though you’re mostly interested in what you can gain from the company. The focus should be on what the company can gain from you.

  • End Your Cover Letter with a Call to Action - Reiterate your enthusiasm and thank the reader

You should not only reiterate your interest in the role but in the company as well. Give your cover letter ending a more personal feel and tell the hiring manager that this isn’t just another job for you. ‘Yours sincerely,’ can be used if you know the person you are writing to - Use ‘Yours faithfully,’ if you don’t know the person you are writing to. Include your signature whether this is handwritten or digitally inputted.

A few extra tips!

  • Use single spacing or 1.15 line spacing throughout.
  • Double space between paragraphs and between cover letter sections.
  • Use a template that matches your CV.
  • Choose the right cover letter length, no longer than 1 page (A4).
  • Before clicking ‘send’, remember to proofread your cover letter!
  • Unless the job advert states differently save with a .PDF file extension to make sure it can be opened and read on any machine

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