Covering letters

When you send your CV to a potential employer, you should always include a covering letter. You can use this opportunity to enhance your application.

  • Highlight any points on your CV (but don’t quote it directly) relevant to the job you are applying for
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the company you are applying to and explain why you wish to work there.

You should be able to highlight your skills if you have prepared well. Convincing the company that you are committed to working for them can be a challenge. Part of your case will be to show that you are committed to your area of work and give reasons and examples. You will need to have carried out research on the company’s aims, its products, customers and the relevance to your career objective.

You may also wish to use the letter to address any issues that you feel may be of concern such as a lack of relevant qualifications or experience or disappointing exam results, but with reasons, not excuses. There is no right order for points in the letter; just keep the sections about you and the company separate.

This is where you can make your application stand out. Show that you have researched the company by quoting projects or products that you have identified through, for example, the trade press or company website, and then demonstrate how you could contribute to the company.

In your concluding paragraph, you could indicate that you would be happy to answer questions at interview and indicate when you are available – hopefully any time!