• If you have a mutual contact, or have been referred, say so! Name drop that person in the opening paragraph – it’ll perk up their interest in you !


• If you know the person who’s hiring or responsible for reviewing the applications, address it to them – if you don’t, find out! Take the time and make the effort to get the person’s details, it’s really the only way. Do your homework and research the company website, or call them directly to get the name and position – whatever you do, make it personal !


• Make each Covering Letter unique to the job you are applying for – we all want to feel special, and that goes for companies too ! Adapt it to reflect the role you are interested in and highlight what it is about the company, department or role that interests and suits you.


• Provide your contact details at the top of your letter – include your Linkedin if you have one, but not your other social networking pages. Your address, ‘phone numbers and email are essential to ensure they have all they need to get in contact with you.


• Don’t be afraid to show off a little – if you’ve really earned the skills and experience, then be sure to communicate them. Draw on the main, and most impressive and relevant of your attributes that will be a real asset to the company – use the experience you’ve gained during your degree course, previous work experience or internships and even useful extra-curricular accomplishments and personal qualities. Be sure to ensure they are relevant to the role and duties you will be involved in by aligning them and explaining why they are suitable and valuable.


• Now that you’ve displayed your peacock feathers, it’s over to them to decide if they like you. But before you sign off your Covering Letter, tell them briefly, but convincingly, why they should choose you – let’s face it, it’s the thought on their mind. Answer it for them! Let them know you are perfect for the position, the reasons why and reinforce your keenness to join the organisation.


• Your Covering Letter should be no more than 1 page, preferably less – keep is clear, fresh and concise. Break it up into 3 or 4 paragraphs, of no more than 3 or 4 sentences, leaving a single space in-between. It’s purpose is to compliment your CV, not to repeat it – which means you should pick out only your most relevant and suitable skills and experiences from your CV to reinforce them for the position you’re applying for. Remember, less is more !


• A well presented Covering Letter reflects you – keep it neat and well-formatted (Times New Roman/ Arial, 10/12 point font). Print on clean, good quality paper and carefully attach your CV to it. Check for any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes – enlist the fresh eye of another appropriate adult, or two, to ensure it’s in perfect form !


• Don’t sound like an automaton – loosen up and bring yourself to life on paper. This is your opportunity to show a little of your personality whilst impressing with your skills and attributes. Come across as being enthusiastic, as well as professional !

Think of your Covering Letter like a first date – you know enough about them to know you like them, you’re really interested, you want them to be interested too – you’ve got a mutual friend which you hope’s broken the ice, now you just need to impress – you’re going to keep it short and sweet and exciting so they want to see you again – you’re going to sell yourself, because you’re a great catch and you think you’ll make pretty awesome match – you’re going to spruce yourself up, sound your best, look your best and knock them out, and hope they call you back…!