Covering letter template
Name (give them a call if you don’t know who to address it to)
Address of organisation
Dear (title and surname)
First paragraph Unsurprisingly, this is your brief introduction. Start off with who you are, when you expect to graduate, details of your degree, university and result/expected result. State the title of the position you are applying for and, if you are replying to a job ad, tell them where you saw the ad (date of publication too, if you want). You could tell them here that you’ve enclosed your CV, too.
Second paragraph Explain a bit about why you are applying to that organisation, and for that particular role. Attempt to show that you know a bit about your prospective employer and about the industry in general. What work does the company do? What are the its strengths? Be as specific as you can – why this job and this particular employer?
Third paragraph You could combine this with the second paragraph. Talk about your own strengths, and why you would suit the job on offer. Make a link between the organsiation and you: where do their aims coincide with yours? Talk about any relevant experience and particular skills you have to offer. Back up your statements with hard evidence, and refer to sections of your CV.
Fourth paragraph Any other relevant points, little extras you might want to mention. Maybe you have taken a year out, and need to explain this. Highlight any interests/roles of responsibility that are particularly relevant to the job on offer.
Final paragraph Tell them when you’ll be available for interview (and for work) and that you look forward to hearing from them. Remember to be brief: try to keep the entire covering letter to one side of A4.
(or yours faithfully if you don’t know their name – double check with someone like your careers adviser if you’re not sure about letter etiquette.)
Remember: sign the letter!
*Adapted from a covering letter template in The Guide, Warwick 2002, page 29.