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Cover letter template

By Michael Cheary

Feel like your cover letter could do with some work? Here's our handy cover letter template to help get you started.

How long do you spend writing a cover letter?

Five minutes? An hour? Less? The honest answer for many, unfortunately, is not long enough. One explanation may be that some of us simply don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a proper cover letter. Others may be guilty of using the same letter for every application, without tailoring each one to the job in question, or, worse still, failing to include a cover letter at all.

However, a cover letter is often the first thing a hiring manager looks at, so it’s crucial to get it right. As well as letting your personality shine, it’s also an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Remember, first impressions count.

We’ve already covered how to write a cover letter, but if you’re still feeling frustrated when it comes to formatting, here’s our cover letter template to help you get started:

 

Just here for the template? Click the link below:
 
 

Opening the letter

Once you’ve covered the letter writing basics (address, hiring manager’s name if you have it), the opening paragraph should be short and to the point. Explain what job it is you’re applying for and where you found the vacancy.

Feel free to mention the website by name (e.g. 'as advertised on reed.co.uk') or, if someone referred you to the contact, mention their name in this section.
 

Example:
I wish to apply for the role of IT Manager, currently being advertised on reed.co.uk. Please find enclosed my CV for your consideration.

 

Second paragraph - Why are you suitable for the job?

Briefly describe your professional and academic qualifications that are relevant to the role and ensure you refer to some of the skills listed in the job description.

If you have no specific academic or vocational qualifications to cite, use your relevant experience to win merit. If you’re lacking experience, use personal skills or attributes to show what makes you the perfect fit for the role.
 

Example:
As you can see from my attached CV, I have over three years’ experience in the IT Industry, and I believe the knowledge and skills built up during this time make me the perfect candidate for the role.

 

Third paragraph – What can you do for the company?

Use practical examples to emphasise what you can do for the company. These might be performance-based, and could include examples from previous positions, your current job or even from your academic career.

Always make sure your examples are as quantifiable and pertinent as possible. ‘Increased revenue by x%’, for instance, sounds a lot more impressive than simply stating you ‘Increased revenue’.

Other (role-specific) examples include ‘drove x% more traffic to the website during my time in employment’, ‘an increase in students grades by x’ and ‘achieved a first class distinction grade in my dissertation on x’.


Example:
In my current role as Senior Marketing Executive at Software Company X Ltd, I have been responsible for increasing incoming client enquiries for our B2B product lines by 156% in under 12 months, which helped the business increase its revenue by 55% year-on-year.
 

Fourth paragraph – Reiterate

Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and why you would be the right fit for the company.
 

Example:
I am confident that I can bring this level of success with me to your company and help IT Company LTD build upon their reputation as one the UK's fastest-growing software houses. With my previous experience and expertise, I believe I can hit the ground running and start actively contributing to the business as soon as possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.

 

Closing the letter

Thank the employer for their time. It is also a good opportunity to indicate that you’d like to meet with the employer for an interview.

Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the name of the hiring manager)/’Yours faithfully’ (if you do not), and your name.
 

Example:
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

 

Final thoughts

Remember: This is a template, not a ready-made cover letter. Without the proper research into the organisation advertising the role, and without tailoring the contents of your letter to the role, it will lack the impact with which a cover letter can drastically improve your chances of reaching the interview stage.

 

Still struggling for inspiration? Here are our top tips on how to write a cover letter

 

Back to CVs and Cover Letters

 

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