Careers and Entrepreneurship

Covering letters

Your covering letter should accompany and complement your CV and demonstrate how you are a good match for the opportunity

Standard covering letters

Each covering letter you write should be tailored to the role and organisation you are applying to. It should be presented as a formal letter and be no longer than one page.

Your letter should have four main paragraphs:

  • paragraph 1: introduce yourself - say why you are writing and give some background about whether you are a student or a graduate 
  • paragraph 2: why you are interested in the organisation - demonstrate that you have done some research on their website and know what they do, giving an example of an aspect of their work that particularly impresses you eg. a project, product, service or work policy
  • paragraph 3: how you meet their requirements - use the job advert to structure your bullet points and show how you fulfil them. Start your bullet point with a positive word and then the skill before giving an example to demonstrate it
  • paragraph 4: what you want to happen next - reaffirm your enthusiasm for the role and organisation, and say when you are available for interview

Speculative covering letters

You can send a speculative covering letter to an organisation that isn't currently advertising any vacancies. Like a standard covering letter, your letter should be persuasive and outline why you are interested in the organisation and what you can offer them. 

Tips for writing covering letters

  • Address your letter to a named person or use Dear Sir/Madam or Dear Recruiter, if you don't have a name. 
  • Close your letter with Yours sincerely if you are writing to a named person or Yours faithfully if you are writing to Dear Sir/Madam.
Book onto a CV and covering letter workshop

Get your covering letter reviewed

You can get guidance on writing a covering letter and 1-2-1 feedback at our CV workshop. Book onto a workshop above.

We also offer feedback via Ask a Question and you can book a 1-2-1 appointment via CareerHub.

Other resources