Letters of Application

If you are applying for a new job or sending speculative CVs to prospective employers then you will need to include a covering letter with your CV. A covering letter isn’t supposed to be War and Peace but a succinct letter that emphasises your strong points. It should detail your skills, achievements, work experience and qualities and show what you have to offer the employer.

  • Your first step should be to find out all you can about the company you are applying to. You need to be sure why you are applying for the job and clearly communicate this in the letter. You also need the correct name and address to send the letter to.
  • Your letter should be one side of A4 paper, typed (unless a handwritten letter is specifically requested) and on good quality paper without spelling mistakes, typos or bad grammar. Keep the language precise and be clear in what you are trying to say. Put your address and telephone number at the top right of the letter and the date, name and address of the company you are applying to on the left-hand side.
  • Address letters to a specific person, you can always call the company and ask for the name and title of the person who is dealing with the application. Start and end your letters correctly. If you are writing to Mrs Elaine Brown then you should start the letter ’Dear Mrs Brown’ and finish it with ’Yours sincerely’.
  • Be careful that you use the correct title, especially if it is to a woman. If you are unsure of the title of a female person you can address it to Ms. If you have to start the letter ’Dear Sir/Madam’ then it is correct to finish the letter with ’Yours faithfully’.
  • Mention where you saw the advert and any specific information that they request such as a reference number. In the second paragraph, let them know how your interests and abilities link to the needs of the company and why you want to work for them.
  • Make sure you are enthusiastic about the job advertised and the company in general. In the final paragraph, summarise your main strengths that are relevant to the job and conclude with a confident ‘I look forward to hearing from you’.

The final thing to remember is to get your application in on time. If there is a closing date make sure your CV and letter are there – otherwise you won’t be in the running for that new post.

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