Top Ten Tips for writing cover letters

Kennedy Scott's ten top tips for creating a good covering letter which will help you stand out to employers.

1. Do not under-estimate the success of the speculative approach to Jobsearch, by that we mean writing to a company who may not be advertising any jobs at that moment in time. Speculative letters show initiative and should always be a tool in the jobseeker’s portfolio.

2. Tailor speculative/covering letters to the job you want and also to your C.V., drawing attention to your most important/relevant experience.

3. Make the letter punchy, interesting yet remain professional taking account of the protocols of Dear Sir/Madam, or a named individual and always end with Yours faithfully, or Yours sincerely.

4. Always check your spelling and grammar on the computer programme and ask somebody to proofread for you.

5. Avoid clichés and always include an interesting reference to your achievements in the past, even if it was not in a previous job; hobbies, sports interests and committee membership is all relevant to an employer and shows initiative.

6. Send a clear standardised C.V. which is tailored to the job along with your letter and wherever possible type it on the computer so you have a record and a document to work on in the future.

7. Save all your work – it is soul destroying to start again from scratch when a C.V or covering letter is lost.

8. Make sure your details are clear and easy to find with your address and telephone number at the top of the letter.

9. Include any company reference to the job application and if you are responding to an advertisement, state where you saw it advertised.

10. Do not write a letter which is longer than one A4 page. Letters which are too long do not get the attention they deserve and you will probably be giving too much away, so save it for the interview.