A CV should always be accompanied with a covering letter or email and, for many jobs, this will form an important part of the application process.

A covering letter: 

  • Should bring colour and personality to you and your past experiences
  • An opportunity to talk in more detail about the things you have done and what you have learnt
  • Use specific examples of major projects or achievements you have completed, reflect on what you have learnt
  • Ensure that it is clear the letter is geared towards their job advertisement (don’t use one generic letter for every application). 
  • Always be positive on both your CV and covering letter; never say anything negative about a previous employer or colleagues.
  • Try to show your enthusiasm and passion through your past experiences and vision for the future
  • Stay away from general, empty statements that are not backed up with evidence

Here is a basic outline of the things you could write about in your covering letter but there are no strict rules.

Paragraph 1

  • Who are you?
  • What job you are applying for and where you saw it advertised?

Paragraph 2

  • Why are you applying for the job?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you want to work for them?
  • What skills do you have and what can you offer them in terms of attitudes and competencies?
Tell them about achievements and relevant experiences but don’t just repeat what is on your CV – provide more specific information and detail.

Paragraph 3

Although the main focus of the letter should be about what you can offer them, as a student or recent graduate it is acceptable to say something about what you want to gain from the role.

  • How does the job role fit with your careers ambitions?
  • What will you gain from it?
  • What skills and experience do you hope to develop?
  • What do want to achieve from the position?
For further examples and information about covering letters have look at the links below: 
A standard covering letter
For more detail on what to include in a covering letter
A covering letter from an international student
Management and Administration Covering Letters
A speculative covering letter (for further information on speculative applications click here)



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