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Writing a Great Cover letter

Just as it is important to tailor your CV to each role you are applying when preparing a cover letter you must think from the employer’s perspective rather than your own.

Consider the vacancy advert and any other information your have about what is likely to be important to the employer and then highlight those aspects of your knowledge and achievements in the covering letter so that it is obvious to the employer how you can add value to their business.

Layout & Structure

Covering letters should be brief and to the point; probably no more than 3 paragraphs with key achievements bullet pointed.

Identify the job title and if applicable reference number of the vacancy you are applying for. Give a brief but punchy outline of you and your background. Avoid phrases like experienced and instead focus on more positive words like successful. This is an excellent way of introducing / highlighting key, relevant achievements. E.g. “a successful personal care focused NPD technologist having delivered 11 new packs, on time in budget within the last 12 months”.

Your letter should not rehash the CV but should draw attention to the most significant achievements and points of interest to the employer.

Why me?

Whilst we don’t suggest you use this phrase your closing comments should highlight what’s in it for the employer. Too many candidates still think about why this is a great career opportunity for them rather than why the employer would be interested in them. So having highlighted what you have achieved suggest the value you could bring to the employer and emphasise how interested you are in meeting them.