How to write a cover letter

Tips and tricks for creating job search correspondence

letter motivation What is a cover letter for ?

A cover letter (or covering letter or letter of motivation) is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as a resume (or curriculum vitae).

Writing this cover letter often seems like a particularly daunting task. However, with ours tips and samples, you'll soon be an expert at writing cover letters.

tips and tricks In summary

Every cover letter you write should be customized for the job you are applying for, clear and concise, grammatically correct, and error-free.

covering letter View free samples cover letters

For an advertised position

A cover letter is designed to enhance your CV, not repeat it. This letter will highlight your skills and qualities.

A cover letter should also be written in line with the specifications the employer has stated in their desirable and essential criteria.

The employer will also have listed the minimum requirements in order to fill the post and may have suggested the qualities they wish potential candidates to have; for example - personable, flexibility (working as part of a team and/or independently)

To enquire about possible positions - for example if you are a recent graduate

To thank an employer for an interview

Your CV will not need to be sent again. This letter will thank the employer and emphasise the interest you have in the position. You will include points you may have missed out and/or elaborate on the points discussed during the interview.

Before you write your cover letter

Check you understand all of the criteria stated by the employer before you write your letter.

You should meet the essential criteria before you decide to apply. If the job states RETAIL EXPERIENCE ESSENTIAL you will need to have experience within a retail environment.

Read the employers specification and then read your CV. Think about the skills each post or experience required. If you worked in a temporary position, you may have had to juggle many different tasks. If you were a manager you would need to be both personable and efficient at managing teams of people.

You could record it like this :

Employer seeks

  • Flexible responsible
  • Candidate who manages their time efficiently

My experience

  • 6 months temporary work as an office administrator within a busy Human Resources office - word processing, making folders for interviews, some days working with the recruitment manager - assisting with interviews.
  • Some days assisting the Absence and Employer relations officer - following up long term absences.


  • Ability to manage different tasks and adapt to the roles of each person within the Human Resources department.
  • Short post, fast learner - given responsibility and trust - personnel data is confidential.
  • Focusing on more than one task requires time management

After you have a list of skills that match the employer's requirements, you can begin to write your letter. Pay attention to grammar and spelling !

Go to writing your cover letter >>>