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Careers Advice

Cover Letters

This is your opportunity to illustrate why you are a great candidate for the role in question. I believe it negates the need for numerous versions of your CV as it allows you to highlight your most relevant experience.

A cover letter should always be written specifically for each application. If you are using a standard, one size fits all, cover letter you are missing a great opportunity to demonstrate your suitability.

  • Keep it short, no more that 12 to 18 lines long
  • Use formal letter formatting protocols if you are attaching it as a separate document
  • Use a title detailing the vacancy name, any references, publications and dates

Follow a three paragraph structure:

Your interest

  • Emphasise your interest in the organisation, rather than the role. You could do a similar job anywhere so why does this vacancy appeal so much?
  • This is your opportunity to demonstrate your passion for this particular establishment

How you match the criteria

  • Start with a statement that informs your audience that you will demonstrate why you are a good candidate
  • Use bullet points to briefly summarise your experience matching essential criteria point for point. These statements should be concise highlights and offer numbers and figures where appropriate
  • Do not cut and paste information from your CV

Positive close

  • Simply a positive statement that suggests you expect to be interviewed because you are confident of your matching experience and you are very interested in the organisation
  • 'I look forward to the opportunity of meeting you at interview' for example

Good Luck and remember the cover letter gives you the opportunity to highlight key evidence in support of the application. This has a positive or negative subliminal influence on your audiences approach to your CV or application for. Make sure it's a positive one.

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