How to Write a Cover Letter for Job Application

Why Include a Cover Letter with your CV?

A covering letter is not just sent as a courtesy, but as an introduction to your potential employer. It is designed to complement your CV and provide extra information about you. This cover letter is the first impression a potential employer will have of you.

Cover Letter Format

The style of the covering letter should be reasonably formal and business-like. The cover letter's length should ideally be no more than three paragraphs and should be typed using a clear font on good quality plain white or cream paper, preferably the same as the CV. All this enhances the appearance of your CV and shows that you aren’t desperately sending out your CV en-masse. If you are emailing it, make sure you remain professional.

Always write to a named individual, whether you are applying for a job or writing a speculative letter. Contact the company to find out the name of the HR/Personnel Manager. Make sure you check the spelling - no one likes to have their name spelled incorrectly.

Cover Letter Opening Paragraph

This should let the reader know why you are writing to them. If you are writing to apply for an advertised position within their company, make it clear which job you are applying for and where you saw the advertisement, giving the title and date of the publication. For speculative letters outline what kind of work you are looking for.

Don’t state the obvious, e.g. ‘I am writing to apply for the position’ or ‘as you will see from my CV’ etc. Rather, reword the opening of each paragraph to get straight to the point, e.g. ‘further to your advertisement in’ or ‘I am confident that my experience would make me a suitable candidate and have attached my CV for further reference’.

Second Paragraph

This should explain why you want to work for the company, the benefits you could bring to the company and a few attributes which makes you an ideal candidate. Be keen and genuine and avoid using cliché phrases.

This is the most important section of the covering letter and will probably make an employer decide whether to look at your CV or not. You need to flag up two or three of your key selling points and give some concrete information on the skills and experience you have. Make sure you choose points that relate to the job you are applying for so you can match your skills to their needs. The covering letter also gives you a chance to show off skills that you might not be able to get across in the CV, such as maturity and interpersonal skills.

Cover Letter Last Paragraph – Positive Endings

Don’t let your letter fizzle out at the end with just a bland ‘yours sincerely’. Finish the letter with a strong, proactive phrase which sets the scene for the next stage e.g. ‘I am available for interview at your convenience and look forward to meeting you’.

If you have addressed the letter to a named person (and you should have done), you should end the letter with 'Yours sincerely'; if you wrote Dear Sir or Madam, it should end with 'Yours faithfully'.

Cover Letter Checklist

Here’s a final checklist to make sure your letter includes everything it should do.

  1. Do you know which individual to send the CV to and is it addressed correctly? Ensure the date is included.
  2. Does the letter show an enthusiasm for the position you are applying for?
  3. Does it show an understanding of the employer?
  4. Does it show clearly what you can offer the employer?
  5. Has it got a positive ending?
  6. Have you double-checked to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors?


If you would like to find out more about jobs available in Guernsey or would like help or support during the job application process, contact Leapfrog Recruitment Consultants on +44 (0) 1481 711188 and one of our team will be happy to help.


If you found this useful, you might also be interested in: