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Covering letters

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You should always send a covering letter with a CV. This letter needs to be short and to the point, explaining why you are sending the CV.

If it is in response to an advertised job, you could draw the employer's attention to the skills and experience you have that are particularly relevant to the post.

Be careful not to just repeat exactly what is in your CV.

If you have sent a speculative letter (a letter you send to find out if there are vacancies), you could say when you will follow up the enquiry with a telephone call.

Follow the tips here to help ensure you get an interview:

  • Make a good impression - This might be the first contact the employer has with you. Covering letters need to be set out correctly. It should be easy to read, printed in black ink and in a plain font.

  • Make it short and sweet - Letters need to be short and to the point - no more than one side of A4 paper. Also write it using short paragraphs.

  • Start and finish properly - If you start with 'Dear Sir / Madam', you must end with 'yours faithfully' then sign your name with your name printed underneath your signature. If you start with 'Dear Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr' (followed by their name), you must end the letter with 'yours sincerely', then sign your name with your printed underneath your signature so the employer can read it.

  • Include all your details - Make sure that the employer has all your correct details - including postcode, telephone number, mobile number and email address (if you have one).

  • Check it thoroughly - Make sure you check the spelling and grammar. Get someone who is good at this sort of thing to double check it for you (for example, a youth worker, parent or teacher).

  • Keep it neat and tidy! - Use white A4 paper and white A4 envelopes, keeping it clean and flat (not grubby, smudged or crumpled!)

  • Post it! - Don't delay. Get it in the post. You don't want someone to beat you to it.

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