Careers Service

How to write your cover letter

Advice on what to include in your cover letter and how to structure it.

Cover letters are not an exact science, but you need to sound like you want the job and you can show why you would be a good fit for it. Employers can tell when you haven't given much thought to why you are applying. This is your opportunity to show your motivation and suitability - so take it!  

Video: Top Tips: Cover Letters - Careers Service
Top Tip for writing covering letters

Your cover letter complements your CV and gives you the chance to demonstrate your motivation and suitability for the job.  Your cover letter should answer three questions: 

  • why do you want this job? 

  • why do you want to work for this organisation? 

  • why are you right for the role? 

Use the cover letter to highlight information you need the employer to know, and to explain anything such as extenuating circumstances which you want them to take into account.  

You should: 

  • demonstrate that you have researched the organisation  

  • evidence how you have the skills and experience listed in the vacancy 

  • aim for one page in length with about three to five concise paragraphs