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How To Write Great Cover Letters

On the first page of our Covering Letters Guide we mentioned that there are several types of covering letter.

We've already explained:

On this page and the next we explain how to set out your speculative letter and show you where to go for examples.

2. Speculative Cover Letters continued...

When you send "cold" or unsolicited letters, you usually send them with your CV or resume to recruitment agencies or directly to potential employers, depending on the situation.

When you do, include these key elements:

  • Address the letter to the right person -- know who you're going to be talking to beforehand
  • Draw attention to a need the Company has and explain where you learned about this need -- in recent media coverage for example. What you want to do is to show the Company that you are aware of its need. State this clearly in your covering letter.
  • Don't stress your own career goals or suggest where you might fit in -- the company may have other ideas of where they want to put you, and you don't want to discourage that
  • Briefly discuss your background and skills, specifically emphasizing how they can help the Company
  • Briefly describe job experiences you've had and emphasize anything relevant that will get the Company's attention
  • Enclose a copy of your resume or CV with your covering letter
  • Don't ask for a job interview -- this is too forward and formal. Instead, close with something appropriate to the situation. If you know it's okay to follow up, say you will and then do it. If you don't, say something to the effect of "I hope to hear from you soon" or something similar. Our covering letter examples show you how to do this.

Remember that your objective with these letters is to stimulate companies' interest in you and perhaps encourage a meeting. You are not asking for a specific job and should avoid doing so.

Hit 'continue' below or click here for advice on how to begin your speculative covering letter.

Do You Have Example Letters To Help Me?

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Cover Letters continued

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