Covering letters

A covering letter is your targeted message to an employer that accompanies your CV when you apply for a job.

It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm for the role, say why you want to work for the organisation, and explain why they should employ you. You will also be expected to show a good understanding of the employer and the sector they operate, often described as commercial awareness.

How we can help

Tailoring your covering letter

Each covering letter should be unique to the role you are applying for - just changing the name of the organisation shows lack of awareness, commitment and interest.

When you're writing your covering letter, make sure you have the job description and person specification next to you so you can refer to them. Our covering letter guide (PDF, 1050kB) goes into this in more detail. The following links will help if you are writing different kinds of covering letters:

Speculative covering letters

Covering letters are also used when making speculative applications. They should accompany your CV and be tailored to the organisation, as if you were applying for an advertised role.

Remember though, a speculative covering letter can be used to ask for more than a job. You can ask for shadowing opportunities, internships and even just an informal chat with someone about their job and what it involves.