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Be specific about why the position is particularly attractive for you, and back this up with evidence from your past, or by linking this to your overall career plans, and what you find exciting about this sector. Refer to the relevant skills, experience and knowledge you have and match what you say to the requirements outlined in the job description.Tell your story and highlight key evidence so that you are building on, but not using exactly the same phrases contained in your CV.
An exception is if the job has a person specification consisting of a detailed list of skills, and selection is based on applicants demonstrating in this letter that they have them all (i.e. In that case you can exceed one page – but remember that being concise and relevant is still important!
Introduce yourself and explain why you are writing.
Tailor the letter to the organisation and job description and make it implicit that you have not sent out multiple copies of the same letter to different employers.
If you can, say something original about the organisation: don’t just repeat the text from their publicity material.
For example: Reiterate your desire to join the organisation and end on a ‘look forward to hearing from you’ statement, followed by ‘Yours sincerely’ if writing to a named individual, and ‘Yours faithfully’ if you have not been able to find a named contact.
Type your name, but also don’t forget to sign the letter if you are printing it out.Draw on your research, especially what you have learnt from speaking with their staff (e.g.whilst meeting them at a fair or event, or during work shadowing/experience) as this will demonstrate an awareness and understanding of them that goes beyond the corporate website.Make sure you read our webpage on demonstrating you fit the job criteria for more advice.Even if you think that this position is out of reach, your job is to convince the recruiter that you are qualified enough and able to do the job.If you are responding to an advertisement, state where you saw it.This tells the recruiter why they are reading the letter, and it gives them feedback on which of their advertising sources are working.A cover letter introduces and markets you effectively by complementing your CV.It tells your story by highlighting your relevant strengths and motivation for the person and organisation you are writing to, rather than listing all the things that can already be seen on your CV.For applications that require additional research or teaching statements, there is no point repeating these points in a cover letter – here, one page is enough (brief personal introduction, delighted to apply, please find enclosed X, Y, Z documents).Other applications ask for a CV and a cover letter only, in which case the letter will need to be longer and require more detail.