Looking for help to make your CV shine? We’ve got you covered…
You spent hours crafting your first professional CV. Now it’s time to take care of the cover letter. Don’t think you have to include one? Think again.
Even if it’s not required by the recruiter, a well-written cover letter can be the difference between standing out from the crowd and fading into an ever-growing pile of applications. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make the most of the extra opportunity.
We’ve already covered how to write a cover letter, but if you’re worried that you’re lacking the experience to make it work for you, here’s our cover letter template specifically designed for recent school leavers:
Just here for the template? Click the link below:
Opening the letter
With the opening, keep it short and simple. Highlight the role 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, this is the right place to name-drop them.
I wish to apply for the role of Apprentice Engineer, 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 any qualifications which you believe are most suitable to the job at hand.
These could include GCSE’s, A-levels, for example, and any other qualification you may have attained. If you haven’t had your exam results confirmed yet, stating your projected grades will be acceptable.
As you can see from my attached CV, I have recently completed my A-levels, earning an A and a B in Physics and Mathematics respectively, which I believe I can put to practical use in this role.
Third/Fourth paragraph – What can you do for the company?
Use practical examples to demonstrate what you could do for the company if you were to be hired. These might be performance based (i.e. from previous positions), but will most likely be focussed on your academic career.
Be as specific as possible. Include any extra details or modules studied which you feel may be of particular interest. And if you feel there are any extra-curricular activities you’ve undertaken which may help to reinforce your skills, your cover letter is the perfect place to bring them up.
Examples to use in this section could include books you’ve read around the subject, seminars you’ve attended, or any volunteer or work experience positions you’ve taken to help build the foundations for your career.
This position particularly interests me because of my passion for Mechanics. During my studies, my coursework focussed on X, which helped build my knowledge around the subject.
I further added to my interest in this field independently. For example, recently I completed two weeks work experience with a leading oil and gas company, which helped me expand upon, and start practically applying, what I’ve learned in my studies.
Fifth paragraph – Reiterate
Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and reinforce what makes you the perfect candidate.
If you’re running out of adjectives, or feel like you’re not sure which skills are most relevant, here’s a clue – use the job description. This will undoubtedly include a list of preferred characteristics, giving you a great idea just what the perfect candidate should look like.
I see the role of Apprentice Engineer as the perfect position for me to make the most of my passion and enthusiasm, and also build the foundations for a successful career in the Mechanical Engineering industry. Despite my limited work experience, I believe my eagerness to learn, coupled with my hard-work and dedication, will help Engineering Company LTD build upon their reputation as one of the most respected infrastructure providers in the UK.
Closing the letter
Thank the employer for their time, and 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.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss my application further.
Remember: Just as with our standard free cover letter template, this is a template, not a ready-made cover letter. The success of any cover letter takes time – and should be tailored to the role with the right amount of research. No exceptions.
That also means that, unlike a CV, a new cover letter should be written each time you apply for a job. It may seem like a laborious process, but trust us, it’ll be well worth it.
In fact, four out of ten recruiters we surveyed indicated that they wouldn’t even look at your application without a cover letter. So don’t rule yourself out of a role simply because it requires a little more effort to do things properly.
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