Writing a good Cover Letter

09 April 2018
Returning to Work

When it comes to your Cover Letter, one size doesn’t fit all.

Writing a Cover Letter might seem like a daunting, time consuming task but the truth is once you’ve done one, the easier it is to do the next. You may find it a breeze to hand over a CV – all you need to do is explain your skills, right? However, a Cover Letter is more complicated. From an employer’s perspective, hiring is a lot of work and the idea is to get it right the first time. If they ask for a CV, cover letter, references, an application form and then an interview or two it’s because they want to make sure that whoever they’re hiring is right for the business. With that in mind here’s our advice of what to include to guide you along the way.


How long should my cover letter be?

A Cover Letter would typically be one page long, including three or four paragraphs, one to introduce yourself and explain how you heard about the vacancy, the second and third to explain your experience and skillset and the last to thank the reader for considering your application. You want to be remembered so keep it interesting and to the point.


What’s the difference between a CV and a Cover Letter?

When writing your Cover Letter it is important to remember that your CV is used to tell employers what you can do and what you know, whereas, your cover letter is more personal. Don’t be afraid to let your potential employers see your personality and certainly avoid just repeating your CV. If you are a recent Graduate it is easy to fall into the trap of just talking about your education and what you learnt at university or college. However, you can describe scenarios of when you transferred this knowledge into real life or working situations; Experiences don’t always have to be in the workplace but keep them relevant. Don’t draw attention to your flaws by mentioning what skills you haven’t got but make sure to explain that you are keen to learn.


Big up the employer.

Make your Cover Letter personal; Mention the name of the employer (if you know it), the name of the business and the name of the role you are applying for. No employer wants to read a cover letter that has obviously been mass produced so make sure you make them feel special. Explain why you would like to work for them specifically and outline what you could bring to the establishment. Knowing the company you’re applying for is important and your cover letter is a chance to tell them why the company is good for you and what good you can do for them.


Make it interesting and informative!

Nobody wants to spend their day reading the same thing over and over again. Think of a story you can tell, an experience which lead to you gaining important skills or a reason why you want to work in that sector or for that particular company. If you’ve got experience or a skill they’re looking for tell them you have it and use an example. Explain anything that was left unsaid on your CV such as employment gaps, availability or why you’re looking for a new job. Let them know how soon you can start and provide them with contact details to get in touch. That being said, avoid telling them your life story.


Check, check, check!

When you’re finished do a couple of proof reads and spell checks. It’s so easy to miss something.


Remember, the job description and person specification are there for a reason so read them and use them!


Overall, just be yourself, let your potential employers see your personality and stay honest.


Now that you are more prepared, start applying for some of the amazing opportunities at Sector 1. Take a look at our job board now! Good luck!