What to include in a Cover Letter

Learn the ins and outs of cover letters with our guide that carefully examines three key elements: introduction, main body and conclusion. Not only do we break them down into their component parts, but we also equip you with valuable tips and examples to help you effortlessly compose a captivating cover letter.

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By Jagoda Obszarska, Senior Content Editor, TranslatorLast Updated: April 25, 2024
what to include in cover letter

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Your cover letter serves as your first point of contact with a potential employer, what makes it a valuable tool for creating a positive and lasting impression. Read on to learn more as we examine the basic elements of a cover letter, with tailored insights and examples crafted specifically for the UK job market. Increase the chances of getting the job of your dreams and master the art of creating an attractive cover letter that will leave a lasting impression.

What should a cover letter include?

Crafting an effective cover letter involves structuring it into three key sections. A standard cover letter format includes:

main body
and conclusion

What should a cover letter introduction include?

Your cover letter’s introduction serves as the opening act, so make sure it’s well-written and inviting, so it catches the reader’s attention. It’s your chance to make a positive impact from the very beginning. When you’re about to write your cover letter, start by clearly indicating the specific position you’re applying for. This provides clarity and sets the tone for the entire letter, emphasising your attention to detail.

For instance:

“I am writing to express my interest in the Marketing Assistant position in Lavish Inc., as advertised on your company’s website.”

What should a cover letter main section include?

The main part of your cover letter is your chance to captivate the attention of the employer. In this section, you should not merely list your experiences but strategically present your skills and achievements to make a compelling case for why you are the perfect fit for the role. Let’s delve into how you can enhance this section by quantifying achievements and incorporating valuable soft skills.

While detailing your accomplishments, consider adding quantifiable metrics to provide a tangible measure of your contributions.

Like here:

“I strategised and implemented a social media campaign that resulted in a 20% increase in online engagement over a three-month period.”

This way of promoting your achievements not only adds credibility but also gives the employer a clear understanding of the impact you can make.

Along with your technical, skills and accomplishments, make sure to include your soft skills.

These soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability, play a crucial role in the workplace. They are often what set candidates apart and contribute to a positive work environment.

What should a cover letter conclusion include?

As you round off your cover letter, it’s time to leave a positive and professional last impression. This closing paragraph is your chance to show genuine excitement for the position, express eagerness for a potential interview, and extend a polite thank-you for considering your application.

Wrap up your letter by sharing your excitement about the role. Let the employer know that you’re keen to discuss your qualifications further in an interview. Keep it positive and forward-looking, such as:

“I’m looking forward to discussing how my abilities align with your company’s needs.”

Wrap up your conclusion with a courteous thank-you. A straightforward expression of gratitude adds a touch of professionalism and shows your appreciation for the employer’s time.

This mix of positivity, confidence, and professionalism ensures you end on a strong note, making you a standout candidate worthy of consideration.

For example:

“I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Future Market Company as a Social Media Manager and would welcome the chance to discuss how my skills can benefit your team. Thank you for considering my application.”

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Examples of what to include in a cover letter

Reviewing and analysing cover letter examples may help you get a better understanding of the tone and vocabulary commonly used when applying for a job. Let’s explore specific examples tailored to different job categories often pursued by entry-level candidates.

What should a cover letter for a part-time job include?

When applying for part-time positions, emphasise your flexibility, time-management skills, and any relevant experience. Highlight your commitment to contributing effectively within a limited timeframe and don’t forget to include your availability time or schedule.

For instance:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my enthusiasm for the part-time waiter position at Tomato&Olive Restaurant. With one year’s experience in the hospitality industry and a strong commitment to delivering exceptional customer service, I am eager to bring my skills to your highly regarded establishment.

In my previous role, I developed a deep understanding of customer preferences and satisfaction, ensuring a positive dining experience. I am passionate about Italy and Italian cuisine and am impressed by Tomato&Olive Restaurant’s reputation for culinary excellence and personalised service.

I am currently studying Computer Science at London University and am looking for a part-time job that aligns with my passion for customer service, while still accommodating my academic commitments. I am available every weekend and all weekday evenings, making me an ideal candidate for the flexible schedule of this position.

I am confident that my commitment coupled with my experience and availability will make me a valuable asset to Tomato&Olive Restaurant. I look forward to discussing how my skills and availability match your needs. Thank you for considering my application.

Emma Morris

What should a cover letter for retail include?

For retail positions, make sure to emphasise your customer service skills, teamwork, and a genuine interest in the products or services offered by the company. You might want to add a good eye for visual marketing or attention to detail. Tell the reader about the situations when where you provided excellent customer service or worked closely with a team.

For example:

Dear Ms Jannet Pillburry,

I am writing to express my interest in the retail position at Shoes for Walking. With three years’ experience working in a clothing shop and a commitment to providing exceptional customer service, I am confident that I can contribute effectively to your team.

In my previous role, I developed strong communication skills, the ability to work in a time-sensitive environment, and a great understanding of customer trends and needs. I have successfully managed customer relationships, handled a variety of responsibilities and consistently exceeded sales targets. What particularly attracts me to Shoes for Walking is its commitment to promoting ethically made shoes made from sustainable materials. I am eager to bring my skills and enthusiasm to a company that aligns with my values.

I truly believe that thanks to my experience and commitment I will be a great asset to your team. I would be happy to discuss how my skills and experiences align with the requirements and culture of the company. Thank you for considering my application.

Tom Crane

What should a cover letter for customer service include?

When pursuing customer service roles, highlight your communication skills, problem-solving abilities, patience and any relevant experience resolving customer issues. Showcase your readiness and commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction.

Like this:

Dear James Smith,

I am writing to express my interest in the Customer Service Representative position at WeCare. With a solid background in customer service and a genuine passion for helping others, I am eager to bring my skills to your dynamic team.

In my previous roles, I have honed my communication and problem-solving skills, consistently delivering customer satisfaction through effective telephone interactions, both inbound and outbound. I am impressed with WeCare’s commitment to promoting a healthy work environment and am excited to be part of a company that values customer-centric principles.

I am confident that my experience, combined with my commitment to providing the highest level of service, is a good fit for the requirements of the Customer Service Representative position at WeCare. I would be happy to discuss how my skills can contribute to the success of your team. Thank you for considering my application.

Tom Crane

Your cover letter questions answered

What are the key elements of a cover letter?

Key elements include a clear and concise introduction, a compelling main section that aligns with the job description, and a conclusion that expresses enthusiasm and gratitude.

Don’t forget to check if you have the correct format and grammar. Proofread your cover letter before sending it along with your CV.

What should a cover letter for a student include?

When writing a cover letter for students, include academic achievements, relevant coursework, internships, and any extracurricular activities that demonstrate transferable skills. Highlight your eagerness to apply classroom learning to real-world scenarios.

For example, "My marketing classes have equipped me with a solid foundation in strategic planning, and my internship experience allowed me to apply these concepts in a practical setting."

What to write in a cover letter?

When writing a cover letter, focus on showcasing your unique qualities and how they align with the needs of the employer.

Be specific, provide examples, and tailor each letter to the specific job you're applying for.

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Key takeaways

  • Write your cover letter using a clear structure, including an engaging introduction, a compelling main section that strategically showcases your skills and achievements, and a positive ending that expresses enthusiasm and gratitude.

  • Tailor your cover letter to the specific job market, incorporating insights and examples that resonate with the UK job scene. Use quantifiable metrics to showcase achievements and highlight valuable soft skills to make yourself stand out.

  • If you are a student balancing classes, clearly communicate your availability and commitment to effectively managing both academic and professional responsibilities. Highlight relevant courses, internships and extracurricular activities that demonstrate transferable skills.

  • End your cover letter with a positive and professional touch. Express your genuine excitement about the position, your enthusiasm about the potential interview and politely thank them for considering your application. This combination of positivity, confidence and professionalism leaves a strong impression.


Jagoda Obszarska

Senior Content Editor, SEO Content Writer

Meet Jagoda Obszarska – a certified copywriter, Polish language translator, and seasoned career adviser. Thriving on constant self-improvement, she eagerly stays ahead in her field. With a rich background working with individuals from over 50 countries, Jagoda has successfully completed more than a thousand projects in copywriting and translation.

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