Covering Letter

A Covering Letter (aka a Cover Letter) can give you a competitive advantage and increase your chances of selection at interview.   It is the first document that the prospective employer sees and should highlight your unique selling points – telling the company why they should employ you.

On average, employers spend 30 seconds looking at covering letters so you need to entice the employer to want to know more about you, to want to read your CV and to invite you for interview.


Top tips to help you write the perfect cover letter: 

  • One A4 page maximum
  • Use good quality, clean paper - typed/word processed, grammatically and punctually correct with no spelling errors
  • If sending it online, save it as a pdf as often the formatting in word documents can change upon opening the document on another computer
  • Do not use a standard covering letter – be prepared to draft and re-draft it
  • Address your letter to the person who is dealing with the job application – it is often stated on the advert; if not, call the company and find out who is. If the person is known to you, Dear Dr. Kermit / Dear Ms. Piggy – and if you don’t know them, address the letter to Dear Sir / Madam
  • Research the requirements of the job role, the company and their competitors in the market – align your experience with the company’s needs, show that you have a good fit with the company and are focused on working for that company
  • Target the cover letter to the job vacancy


Organisation of a cover letter

Below shows a suggestion of what to include in each paragraph:

Opening Paragraph

Make it short, concise and state why you are writing. If someone has put you forward for this position, detail it here. Introduce yourself briefly to show that your application is relevant to the job vacancy. i.e. I have just graduated from Portsmouth University with a 2:1 in Mechanical Engineering and wish to apply for the Project Engineer position advertised in

Paragraphs 2-3

Why should the employer choose you? Without duplicating your CV, outline briefly the skill set that you bring to the role, your academic qualifications and your experience to date that matches the job requirements. Ensure you cross-reference the skills required (detailed in the job advert) with the skills you possess. Personalise the application by suggesting how the company will benefit from having you as a member of their team.

Closing paragraph

Finish your cover letter with a request for action, requesting an interview with the employer e.g. ‘I welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience in more detail.’ If you know the addressee, you can end the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ or use ‘Yours faithfully’ if you don’t. Don’t forget to include an enclosures line at the bottom if you have enclosed anything with the letter, such as your CV.


For more career advice from LocalJobFrog on:

Writing your CV go to

Preparing for interview go to